BIF moves to infra

Previous Updates
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ORIGINAL PLEDGES START
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-DEVELOPMENT

--Fund projects & products that increase adoption of Factom

--Hosting and administration of Distributed Ledger infrastructures

--Create preconditions for external parties to take part in creating private, permissioned and public DLT infrastructures

--Research and development of DLT software

-MARKETING

--Increase awareness through marketing, hosting meetups, website, social media promotion, speaking sessions and boots at conferences

-TESTNET

--Contribute one Testnet node per mainnet node and at least one courtesy node

-OTHER

-- There is a dependency on the FCT/USD price, but from an FCT/USD price of $ 13.00 and upwards, BIF will defer 50% of the generated FCTs to the Grant pool.

--Provide regular income & expenses reports to the community

- PLEDGED EFFICIENCY

2 nodes: 50% *see remark above
1 node: 50% *see remark above
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ORIGINAL PLEDGES END
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Blockchain Innovation Foundation has updated it's efficiency from 10% to 35% according to our pledges in application.

We lowered our efficiency on 2018103 from 50% to 10% according to our pledges, because of USD price for FCT after having ran for months at a higher efficiency than pledged. As we now see price is climbing steadily we decided to increase our efficiency to 35%.
We have decided to create a combined report on our Factom activities for Blockchain Innovation Foundation (BIF) and Sphereon for Q1. Our reasoning for this is the following. We had originally planned, at the time of the original application when the FCT exchange rate was around $24, to hire people in BIF and run many activities out of BIF. As we have been living in a new reality the last year, many of these activities are now run out of Sphereon as that is a company that can take on calculated risks.

The Q1 report is bit later than hoped and expected. This is due to being extremely busy in the last few weeks.

First, we were out in Abu Dhabi and Dubai helping our friend and colleague Colin Campbell with the soft-launch of his Off-Blocks solution at the Future of Blockchain Summit. The Off-Blocks solution is looking great and raised an enormous amount of interest amongst visitors. At the same time, we were moving to a new office location, with all the hassle involved with that. Then, we prepared for and attended the Blockchain Hackathon in Groningen, which was also quite hectic, but also quite successful.


Development Grants

As BIF and Sphereon we requested several grants during the last 2 Grant Application rounds. Only our Core Development grant was extended with 500 FCT. We’re about to update our reports for the grants on the Factomize forums, but for a short update: we now have one fulltime developer (Laurens) and one part-time developer (Sander) working and learning core development. Unfortunately, one of the developers has been ill for several weeks, but the good news is that he is on the mend and will be returning to work slowly over the next weeks. We will not be averting that fully on the grant. Sander made his first Pull Request to fix the flapping people noticed in the control panel. Apparently, there were some more logic issues in the state code he is still discussing but has suggested some changes.

We’re continuing our work on implementing Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) and an Universal Resolver on Factom and are expecting a release for testing in about 2 weeks. We are seeing a lot of interest in the DIDs on top of Factom from our clients and also during the hackathon.

We are also finishing up the grant that brings Factom integration into the Alfresco Developer Framework. We are doing some polishing and documentation work currently so it will be available for release shortly.


Marketing Grants

Maarten Boender is a member of the Marketing Committee and is leading the work on the Factom Explainer Video, for which the committee received a grant, which is managed by Maarten and BIF. The same for the Hackathon grant.
More details will be published on the Factomize channel, but we ran a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Explainer Video. It was awarded 2 weeks ago to Story Architects and we’re now working with them in the Production phase.


The Odyssey Hackathon

As mentioned already, the world largest blockchain and AI Hackathon was held last week. What makes this hackathon different from most other hackathons is that here Blockchain is not a solution looking for a problem, but here, Corporates, NGOs and Governments come with Problems and ask the community to come up with Solutions.
Factom had several prominent community members at the event, Paul Snow as a Juror, Julian Fletcher Taylor, Devon Katz, Stuart Johnson, Niels Klomp and Maarten Boender as “Jedi” (specialists) helping teams with their challenges. And, last but not least, Damien Michael (@damo) in the press-core, interviewing people and promoting Factom.
The interest for the Factom Protocol was slow in the beginning. It was obvious again that many people are unaware of Factom. And those who knew Factom thought it was no longer active. Which is very worrying.
The good news is that once we started explaining the Factom Protocol – the possibilities, the community, the grant system – many people became very interested. In fact, two teams decided halfway during the hackathon to add Factom to their solutions. And – maybe not unrelated – these two teams also won their challenge track.
The day after we were able to talk to all the winners and at least half of them will take a serious look at Factom or already decided to work with us. Additionally, we had (semi) government departments and other companies wanting us to talk about Factom some more after the event. Niels will come up with a writeup about the hackathon next week.


Projects

We continue to work on a bunch of existing and new projects. To mention some of them:

To start off with one of the more visible ones, we’re making good progress with co-creating a tokenized eco-system for the global clinical trials and research community together with Triall.io. A Minimal Viable Product (MVP) has been created and is now being demoed and presented to potential investors. A whitepaper has been published recently and Triall has been awarded a seal of excellence by the European Commission, which basically tells investors it is a strong project to invest in according to the EC. This project has a huge potential, both as a repetitive use case, as well as usage for the Factom Protocol as it uses both FAT and Factom directly.

Together with our partner eSpecialisten we have created a document certification solution for Dutch governments (eWaarmerk.nl) and eBurgerpas.nl, a tokenized social benefits solution. We have onboarded several new municipalities for eWaarmerk and are putting the finishing touches on the eBurgerpas using the latest FAT updates.
Because of the success we are in talks on creating a separate entity for this collaboration.


The integration of ValidSign using our APIs and Factom blockchain to provide audit trails for all their transactions is also progressing. Since this will be a project that goes straight to production in the future both parties take their time to properly test the integration. Usage for the protocol is expected to be high. ValidSign signs on average more than a million transactions per month.

We were invited by Alfresco to speak at their customer days, f.i. in San Francisco, about our standard integrations to provide Proof of Authenticity for all content and business processes. We also have a new partner that wants to develop document sharing portals based on Alresco and Factom with us.

Together with Colin from Off-Blocks we have created a mobile-first platform for digital signatures using blockchain for digital identities and immutable transaction logging. We assisted Colin during his soft-launch at the Future of Blockchain Summit in Dubai, where there was great interest for this solution. We are continuing to add functionality to the solution and at the same time assist in the sales process. There are some huge organizations that we are talking to but leave any details up to Colin.

We are also proud to announce a new partnership with Digital Assets, the company behind the DAML Smart Contracts framework. They asked us to partner with them for our document- and blockchain API integrations. We will be start anchoring DAML-based Smart Contracts on multiple blockchains, using our Enterprise APIs.

Another partner of ours already created an integration with DAML and our APIs as well and this solution will be available as a Microsoft ‘IP Co-sell’ solution which means they are assigned a dedicated Microsoft success manager who will help them navigate the co-sell experience and be accountable for driving joint account and territory planning, lead sharing, and channel and field readiness of the solution. On top of that Microsoft sellers are paid to sell the solutions based on the contract value and are eager to showcase new, innovative solutions to their customer accounts.

Another prestigious project is that we’ll be working on a solution for antibiotic resistance surveillance and stewardship with the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, which is a multi-year, world-wide project. The aim is to build a solution where blockchain technologies are used to prevent misuse or overuse of the latest antibiotic medicines in order to slow down resistant strains. This is a project that is in preparation for almost one year now.

We’re also building a solution with the BlockChangeEU foundation to provide a personal data-vault for students for their competencies, certificates and diplomas, using verifiable claims and badges. This solution will be based on an existing open standard, but we’re porting this to blockchain technologies to create immutable proof. This will enable the students to ‘carry’ these with them as they are moving between schools or employers.

Linked to this project is that we’ve been working with the Executive-branch of the Dutch Ministry of Education (DUO) to bring these same technologies to be adopted in a European-wide project with the EU to hopefully become the de facto standard for the EU.

As co-creation is the cornerstone of our business, we continue to work with several other ANOs in early-stage projects around the world: Federate This/Off-blocks, DBGrow, Factomatic, TFA, VBIF, as well as two potential new ANOs. Then there are other projects within industry, healthcare, IoT and governments local and abroad we cannot talk about at this moment. We hope to provide some more updates on these in the next ANO report. Suffice to say that we have many projects and leads interested in our Factom solutions and integrations.

Looking forward for the next quarter!
As we already made clear updates about other happenings will come by my colleague Abe Scholten.

Since the start of M3 we have had a virtual private cloud in Dubai which is way more expensive than some random AWS node. We did this to decentralize and with the expectation of medium term growth of the network.

As that hasn't panned out, but we still need to pay the bills for it and are net negative from infa costs alone, we have decided to remove the specific node from the authset and open up positions for new ANOs wanting a node.

We have been at 35% efficiency all of last year I believe, whilst prices and our application document and subsequent election into the authset would have warranted to be at 0% efficiency. We have taken this hit, because we believe in the grantpool, but at this time we simply cannot justify our expenses going through the roof.

We will see at what point we will change our efficiency because of it.
BIF is updating it's efficiency to 10% at this time. In our application we have been really clear about our efficiency. We together with partners have roughly put 1m dollars in investments into this protocol and entities and are currently reevaluating whether we will remain part of this ecosystem as we believe some are using the standing system without taking overall contributions into account. As we have been net negative on infra alone, because we believe in the grantpool, we will evaluate whether we will remain onboard as an ANO.

It is taking a significant amount of time and money from us and we are not really sure whether it is worth it at this time. We are seeing too many parties having too restricted views and not acting like companies to grow this system. As we re-evaluate we are moving our efficiency to what we promised 2 years ago (still above it), until we inform standing parties about that outcome
BIF & Sphereon update

We are very much aware of a very overdue update from our end, for which we are really sorry. We have taken measures to make sure that does not happen again, that is why Abe as Product Owner within Sphereon/BIF will give updates about the work we are doing with regards to grants moving forward.

2019 has been a very busy year for us and 2020 will only be busier. We believe the protocol will see some very interesting announcements in 2020, but yet at the same time we do not want to over promise as there is some understandable fatigue with regards to announcements.

Core development
We have been mainly involved in 2019 with creating the Factom Livefeed API. Transforming the way Factom Protocol developers can leverage the protocol very much like an eventbus or event sourcing solution, where data becomes available to 2nd layer solutions immediately as it travels the network. This allows for much more interactive and user-friendly application on top of Factom. Wallets that can show transactions and their finality in real-time for instance. Currently the rewrite for factomd and its control panel is underway. The control panel is basically stripped from all communications and using the new pub-sub/livefeed mechanism. Meaning is gets data pushed to it, and only the data it is interested in.

We have stopped applying for a grant, because we believe backpay grants better suit our challenges in aligning our interests, our clients and the protocol’s interest. We will let standing parties be the judge about what we bring the protocol. Furthermore, we believe the core development needs to change in the way it is organized over time.

Citizenship solution (social welfare tokenization)
We held the clothing exhibit in the Netherlands in October 2019 using the e-citizenship apps for a select group of families on one hand and shop owners on the other hand. It was a very big success, with people scoring the solution overall not lower than an 8 (out of 10) on all accounts.

The city ordered a bigger version of it for all families in April this year, with a summer fair lasting multiple weeks this summer. If that is a success potentially moving into city wide implementation for all kinds of services, including waste treatment/junkyard access.

The new version allows families to distribute FAT tokens amongst themselves, but not to others, as well as the city to fully automatically generate (Fiat) invoices for all transactions, making the whole administration of it much simpler.


BlockchangeEU: Badges for education (and HR).
The PoC for special education in the city of Helmond (NL) was a big success on all accounts. We are finishing up to make sure we will deliver everything we promised to the Factom community, including running the badge solution for the whole community, so that anybody in the community can award badges using Factom to anyone.

There is a lot of interest from all kinds of different parties, ranging from government, education, IT suppliers, employers, in total more than 20 parties, to move this forward. Currently the money to fund moving it to the next step is being gathered. We believe this to happen next few months.

Triall
The Triall Electronic Trial Master File (ETMF), is in the phase of productization. The first international clinical trial is running, with others coming soon. Integration into an SAAS platform for Clinical Trials in the US is being started and other partners seem to be underway. From a science perspective we expect 2020 to be prosperous for Triall. We had a successful investment by Dizer Capital and we expect more investments in 2020, together with the ITO (yes it has been postponed a bit).

DHS raw materials work
Factom Inc won the DHS grant to work on a cross-blockchain raw-materials import tracking solution. Our partner and investee company Off-Blocks is working together with our development team to incorporate DIDs and Verifiable Credentials into Off-Blocks to make this all happen. Everyone is very much excited about the potential and it immediately clicks for people. We have been invited by the Dutch Embassy in Washington DC to speak to people on Capitol Hill about the work we are doing, which we will be doing next few months. Factom Inc, Off Blocks and ourselves are all working towards next phases and making a commercial solution out of it.

Off-Blocks
Being a close partner, we are constantly working on software development and business development. We are seeing a great deal of interest from various international parties, across continents. We believe 2020 will be the year that the world will start hearing about Off-Blocks.

Outreach and events
We have been involved in a number of coalitions and attended/spoke at several events. Ranging from AIIM ELC (Association for Intelligent Information Management European Leadership Council), INATBA.org, a EU-wide initiative between the EU and Private organizations, AMR Global, DIF, Odyssey, and many more, to hosting/organizing local PegNet meetups.
Besides that, we have been in active talks with getting a new ANO onboard that we believe can bring substantial value to the Factom Protocol. The founder having a deep knowledge about technology and investments, because it is his profession for a large Dutch Family Office. Since he has a very clear vision for the protocol and knows what investors are looking for, we believe they will bring a lot of value to the protocol.

DAML & PegNet
We have been asked to participate by Digital Asset, Dell Boomi and VMWare in the 4th Odyssey hackathon as a team using their technology. We are working with Digital Asset to see whether a PegNet integration for some of their clients is worthwhile, as demand is growing for stable coins in a workflow/contract solution like DAML. We expect some projects emerging next few months.

Standardization
Sphereon is a member of the Decentralized Identity Foundation and becoming a member of the W3C. Next to memberships like INATBA (International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications) and the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, the work we are doing on EU diploma standards and trade missions to Singapore and Germany, we very much believe in standardization for blockchain to succeed in the long term. That is why we are working with W3C standards like DIDs and VCs in our solutions. Yes, these abstract away a bit of Factom, but it is naïve to think you can do everything by your own standards. We will be actively pushing for more standards on top of Factom in 2020, to make the protocol the blockchain of choice for standard based solutions. We are already seeing the benefits in partner/project selection criteria because of it.

Protocol involvement
Beside the lack of updates, we have been active in the marketing committees, protocol rebrand, core committee (chair) and although a separate entity Centis BV/Niels spending a lot of time on the protocol. We are not going to list every vote or meeting, as we do not believe in transparency for the sake of transparency as that does not get the message across according to us. We do see very big hurdles for the protocol. We believe the protocol has decentralized too fast, with too many cooks in the kitchen all wanting their say. Decision making is severely hindered by it, which is a big worry for us as a company running multiple projects and clients and with the type of customers we have.

Projects
Besides the projects you are aware of, we are either in talks about doing projects, or actually doing projects, or almost going live with several multi-nation financial institutions, (local) governments domestic and abroad, justice/judicial departments domestic and abroad, property/realtors & intermediaries, chamber of commerce, (heavy) industry and document/ERP vendors. These range from small to large projects. Some you will hear about; others might not make it.
But, we believe 2020 will be the year that the Factom Protocol will see actual usage by some of these clients.
Current Update: BIF moves to infra
Last week the board of BIF and the executive team at Sphereon had meetings about the current state of the Factom Protocol and their respective roles within the protocol. Below you will find the outcome.
Please note that this only reflects the opinions of the BIF and Sphereon boards and not the position/opinion of any investee company, board seat and/or partners we have.The news about Factom Inc is an unfortunate coincidence and doesn’t have much to do with this update.

The following decisions have been made.

BIF
BIF will move to an infrastructure ANO, will remain delivering a person in the core committee, will take part in governance and we will keep software components that have been created and made available open-source up to date. We will move to 50% efficiency as a result. We have decommissioned our private cloud solution in Dubai and moved it over to Amsterdam. We mentioned before we would move to one server/node. We are still open to that to make room for others.

Sphereon
Sphereon will not be an active player in the ecosystem for the foreseeable future. The executive team believes the decision to remove the guides has been a bad one. We have seen some problems in governance, we believe with a proper guide team would not have happened. We also believe that the way parties use the standing system for their short-term benefits and/or for “vetos” to be a problem. We believe current system has only a few actors left that could move the needle medium to long term. Too many cooks in the kitchen and too many 1 or 2 person teams that have been created solely around the protocol. Teams which we know are working day and night loosing standing, yet teams that have done almost nothing for the protocol still in the protocol.

Currently, we believe the protocol is not doing our company, which is in an important phase of growth and investments, much good. We hope to be proven completely wrong of course and this is not a permanent farewell, as we will keep tabs obviously. We still will keep on developing technology for the protocol, including grants and working together with several parties in the protocol. We will however also be working with other protocols that we have been holding of many times and that have shown a different attitude towards a company like ours.
Please note that we still believe the Factom Protocol has many benefits from a technical perspective. Most new technology we are currently developing and will be developing in the future will still (and remain) to support the protocol.

As a company we hope to see some changes for the better so we can rely on the protocol both from a technical and governance perspective. Inclusion of additional standing parties, changes to current standing system and the way the protocol works with parties that can bring change are major components of our evaluations. Parties seem too much focused on short term goals and missing or even punishing parties with long term goals

We sincerely wish the best for the protocol and hope to see the Factom Protocol flourish in 2021 and beyond
 
Another chapter read of the book "Factom, the rise, the fall and the exodus". How an ecosystem drained itself financially until it couldn't anymore. What's more logical than just walking away in that case? Who's next?

Self enrichment via non performing grants or efficiency changes when those grants aren't awarded, fights about everything possible, bankruptcies, sudden furloughs, bans of critical community members, technological failures, broken promises, arrogance, mismanagement, miscommunication and everything else I forget. Can't wait for the next chapter to be written, although I think I won't read any surprises either in that one.

Did Netflix already reach out to the standing parties? Tiger King would be forgotten when this documentary comes out.
 
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Yeah must be it. Good thing we have people like you that help ensure we have good and healthy discussions to come together.

All the 'self inrichment' whilst you are funding development for bigger projects for the protocol. Staggering. We really need more people like you /s
 
Yeah must be it. Good thing we have people like you that help ensure we have good and healthy discussions to come together.

All the 'self inrichment' whilst you are funding development for bigger projects for the protocol. Staggering. We really need more people like you /s
Says someone who throws the towel after some critics, while sitting on many delayed grants without communication other than: "we are working on something bigger and we decide what that is and when that will be delivered, so shut up".

Remarkable that you feel the most touched by the words 'self enrichment'.

I rest my case.
 
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We will move soon to 50%. Any reason for the question? We already had 2 ANOs using our efficiency in their scoring/arguments (1 incorrectly, the other after a few days of the announcement). Yet you hear no-one about the fact we have been running at a better efficiency than our price related efficiency for roughly a year.

That fits with short term and inwards focus of many ANOs currently. ANOs that also do not take faults in document ratification seriously when pointed out, let alone get into severe lack in last grant round with regards to a governance grant that was completely overlooked.

How should we take ANOs seriously that support ANOs that have done next to nothing for the protocol, but cannot overcome simple personal disaffection of others.

People need to wake up, instead of receiving FCT for as long as the protocol lives
 

Alistair McLeay

RewardChain
We will move soon to 50%. Any reason for the question? We already had 2 ANOs using our efficiency in their scoring/arguments (1 incorrectly, the other after a few days of the announcement). Yet you hear no-one about the fact we have been running at a better efficiency than our price related efficiency for roughly a year.

That fits with short term and inwards focus of many ANOs currently. ANOs that also do not take faults in document ratification seriously when pointed out, let alone get into severe lack in last grant round with regards to a governance grant that was completely overlooked.

How should we take ANOs seriously that support ANOs that have done next to nothing for the protocol, but cannot overcome simple personal disaffection of others.

People need to wake up, instead of receiving FCT for as long as the protocol lives
I just ask as I have been voting on standing and when assessing yours I noticed your latest announcement did not match your current efficiency, that's all.
 
It looks like you think that I removed standing from BIF because of personal disaffection.
It's basically not true, Niels.

I removed standing because you didn't deliver your grants, and when many community members asked you for updates, you ignored them in your arrogant manner and then finally got rid off the relation between BIF and Sphereon activities.

There are still 3 issues left:
1. What does BIF bring without Sphereon into the protocol, so people would give it standing?
2. What's about core dev grant received by BIF (not Sphereon)? It was pretty huge. And nothing was delivered as result.
3. Do you really think that the community is so dumb to not understand that Sphereon took a lot of money (more than many ANOs received ever) from the protocol, delivered next to nothing, then claimed they are not interested in Factom Ecosystem anymore. Do you still think there won't be any consequences for you and your ANO legal entity?
 
Not quite an answer to the three questions. Just realize you are sitting on a lot of grant money my friend with whatever hat you are wearing. All this legal entity stuff talk of yours is not making right what is wrong.

Yes, there are a lot of ANO's doing next to nothing and governance is not working always well, but this discussion is about your massive grant awarding without proper updates, nor any delivery. When discussion heats up around your entities, you are throwing the towel. It's just a sad show from your end.
 
@Anton Ilzheev

I’ll respond here, because not only Niels, but me and Sebastian as well, are pretty much done with the Factom Protocol community at this stage.

Ad 1.
We’ve been running BIF at a loss pretty much since its inception, mainly because of a long-term commitment for our Dubai nodes and the FCT exchange rates.

How many other ANOs did presentations, blogposts, outreach, meetups, conferences, etc, for Factom? We invested a lot of time in governance work, committees, FIPs, roadmap, marketing, bug bounty programs, etc.

We now scaled back to an infra-only ANO (as there are many) where we continue to run high-performance Factom nodes with a high uptime.
Based on our original application, based on the FCT rate, we would well be in our right to do so at 0% efficiency, but for now we decided to do this at 50% efficiency.
We’ll continue to promote Blockchain in general and Factom in particular, much like we did last week.

Ad2.
How do you mean we delivered nothing for the Core Dev grant? We did provide multiple people working on the Factom core code as well as the core committee. They started with learning the code, then testing and then contributing. At rates far below our standard rates.

Ad 3.
You again mix up BIF and Sphereon. Yes, we understand the confusion created by being an ANO and also having a separate company receiving grants. Which is one of several reasons we are stepping back as Sphereon.
And again, for the record, as to the grants we received: we worked for those and will continue to work on them (at rates far below our standard rates). We already did more work than the scope of most of these grants required. And we’ll continue to do so.
But don't we won't be requesting any new grants

With the kind of shortsighted and biased remarks under 2) and 3) you only piss of people that worked hard on and for the protocol.
What good will do that?
 
I think there's been a build up of miscommunication here. And things are way too heated for the actual situation; I urge people to take some time away from this conversation. There's not a huge change happening here - just making the difference between BIF and Sphereon clearer.

Firstly, Dundee obviously doesn't speak for the standing parties, please don't let him antagonise you. Standing Parties have voted BIF with 92% standing - one of the highest.

I'm sure if people were able to see all the additional work done - they'd better understand how BIF is delivering value for money to the Factom Protocol separately from Sphereon.

Similar to LayerTech and DBGrow - if the voter base was able to see the behind the scenes efforts, they'd have no questions.


Standing System
Look at it this way: if BIF were a new joining ANO, at 50% - would you really not support them? And instead you give standing to others at 50% who have done and will do nothing?

This is where the insult is being generated. Removing support for BIF is just a gesture, it's not a real vote of standing. I guarantee you don't actually want them to leave the ecosystem. But gestures are not how the standing system is supposed to be used.

If you remove standing - you are saying "I don't think they should be here". So @De Facto and @Factoshi do you really think Niels and BIF shouldn't be here at 50%? Or are you just making a point?


Going Forward
There's nothing wrong with working alongside other protocols. Several ANOs run infrastructure and receive funds from other blockchains.

For building and selling base technologies - it makes perfect business sense for Sphereon to be interoperable and chase opportunities. For those building end-user applications Factom still makes a lot of sense.

We hope that companies continue to build such end-user applications on Factom, and will be attracted to Factom by some of the the services, components and integrations that Sphereon can offer.

This is what Sphereon provides as a separate legal entity.

Everything else is BIF: The conferences, the governance, the documentation, the calls, the blogs, the connections, the presentations. There has been some conflation, and if you were being nitpicky you could hold that against them. But why would you? Is that really the biggest issue with the protocol right now?


Community Spirit
We have bullied out or stopped them participating: Factom Inc, MultiCoin, LayerTech, almost DBGrow, and now BIF. Whilst many non-performers go unmentioned.

I mean, our own community publicly shitpost about Inc as they try to raise money.... Where's the community spirit gone? We should all be promoting Inc if we knew what was good for us.

So in this case, who exactly are the standing parties expecting to progress the protocol? Are you going to feel all warm and noble in bed at night as FCT drops to $1? Ooooh you got rid of those troublemakers ey?

And for that, I provide standing to BIF. And will continue to provide standing for Factom Inc, DBGrow and Layertech. You may not like the short term, but for the big picture - we need our strongest companies active and welcome.
 
@mboender

1. I am completely fine with your 50% efficiency. Also thank you for clarification about additional works "presentations, blogposts, outreach, meetups, conferences, etc".

2. I mean the real outcome in protocol improvements, bugfixes, etc.
Comparing to Who's Core Dev grant I am still thinking that many of your core dev grants are not aligned with received funds.
But let's talk about BIF grants only, as you want that community doesn't evaluate Sphereon activities.

So, grant #1 (18,500 FCT): https://factomize.com/forums/threads/bif-001-factom-core-development.953/ + grant #2 (500 FCT): https://factomize.com/forums/threads/bif-004-core-development.1558/

The common update for both grants:

Within the time interval for this both BIF's grants (Dec 2018 — May 2019) I see only one PR from 1 developer:

In my opinion the outcome (even considering the time needed for Factom education) is completely not aligned with the grant budget (it was $74K+ as you wrote in your grant proposal, even not considering payout price which was much higher, but it's not the case).

Question for you and Niels: if you feel that grant is successful, how about creating a determination vote for this? If you are not willing to do this, what other options do you see?

3. Regarding Sphereon my opinion is that you guys took too many projects to do and so created a long queue of unfinished work. It was not the problem for most of people in the community until there was a communication about these works and timelines, but for some reason it has been vanished and all community questions started to be ignored.

But this is not related to BIF, so let's omit future discussions on this topic.

4. Btw, if BIF is still a part of Marketing Committee? If yes, what the status of explainer video?
 
If you remove standing - you are saying "I don't think they should be here". So @De Facto and @Factoshi do you really think Niels and BIF shouldn't be here at 50 35%? Or are you just making a point?

I'm going to make this my only post, because quite frankly there's just no pleasing everyone. And for the record, my tone here is informative and just an honest reflection of my thought process. ;)

We've set the interval for standing reviews at 90 days. So that's what Factoshi is doing. Every 90 days, we're going out of our way to update a long list of contributions based on the recent quarter. It's tedious. It's difficult. Let's face it, reporting isn't always up to par, so where do I get my information from? I'm not going to chase people for information. I know that making Factoshi's metrics public is opening a big can of worms, as we're opening it to attack, but it's something I willingly chose to do to foster a more responsible use in the spirit of good old @David Chapman.

Removing support for BIF is just a gesture, it's not a real vote of standing. I guarantee you don't actually want them to leave the ecosystem. But gestures are not how the standing system is supposed to be used.
A single standing vote is ideally feedback on where to approve. It comes with the soft repercussion of a few % gained or lost. Without that, as human behaviour would dictate, that feedback would eventually fall on deaf ears.

That repercussion becomes wider when the feedback by a growing amount of people goes unanswered for too long. The sum of all subjective standing votes paints a more accurate, objective picture of where a particular party is failing. That's always been my view of the standing system in its current iteration. If this is deemed too big a flaw, because people are too quick to see a removal vote as a (personal) attack, let's move to a next iteration.

So yes, it might very well occur that over a full year, there might be three quarters where we give support, and one quarter where we remove support. As one party out of 23, this should balance itself out as per what I outlined above.

Yes, it might also occur that some of the information used is arbitrary. Possibly incorrect, incomplete. That's the nature of the beast. Solve the evaluation of merit problem, especially for something as convoluted as Factom protocol participation, and you'll be a star in the social sciences.

Let me be clear that this has nothing to do with personal opinions or dislike, which is something I see come up repeatedly. We removed standing for DBGrow in the first quarter even though I really like @Julian Fletcher-Taylor and get along with him great in the Exchange WG.

My principle has always been that I demand a basic level of respect for the protocol and its rules if you are consuming its resources, regardless of who you are. I'm a big proponent of vote delegation if we want to move towards a model where bigger parties can afford a more relaxed role.

In the meantime, we won't be an ANO that casts blanket support to keep the peace. Are we on the stricter end of the spectrum? Probably. I think we've removed support for almost half the current ANOs. In fact, I would welcome everyone did this. It would mean we'd get rid of the really underperforming parties in no time, and while some of the better ones would get a few hits as well, they'd probably never sink below the support threshold (if they respect basic upkeep and acknowledge feedback).
 
The point you are missing is the bigger picture and the fact that a 90 day period is way too short for something that is called standing. We haven't voted recently, but for instance we would roughly around now start asking Factomize questions about their efficiency and certainly not have removed it a few days after their change.

Why? Because of the insane amount of work we know David and his team have done for the protocol in the past. Do you really believe David, DBGrow or LayerTech would change their ways because a team like yours removes standing? That is really wishful thinking. Do you really believe we have parties that would replace them and be better at it?

Just like it is wrong to believe that a company like Sphereon that works with governments, enterprises and coalitions makes decisions based on Anton or you. I know Anton mentioned at one point "we" were afraid of "his" competition. I would wish that were true. Because he would be doing pretty good. It is this distrust and lack of seeing the bigger picture that really doesn't help the protocol move forward.

If people really believe that the protocol would be better of without the likes like Factomize, DBGrow, LayerTech then they are completely kidding themselves. I would even go as far as to say that it probably has to do with ensuring a better position/spot yourself instead of thinking about medium/long term for the protocol.

It is insane to think that entities like these should be removed. You can think about it "lightly" but that is the whole problem, it becomes a tool to get your way instead of a tool to remove parties that really suck.
 
The point you are missing is the bigger picture and the fact that a 90 day period is way too short for something that is called standing. We haven't voted recently, but for instance we would roughly around now start asking Factomize questions about their efficiency and certainly not have removed it a few days after their change.
Thank you, that's the point I was making.

That's exactly the kind of organic process I would envision when you have 23+ parties doing this. Some remove standing earlier than others. Over time, the cumulative effect of those repercussions grow when the situation stays unaddressed for too long.

Here's some food for thought. We have plenty of support votes based on incomplete, random, blanket information or based on separate legal entities. No one bats an eye. But as soon as the vote is negative, all hell breaks loose.

Again, if we feel the current system is too hostile or counter-productive, let's get to a next iteration.

The point you are missing is the bigger picture and the fact that a 90 day period is way too short for something that is called standing.
It used to be 60 days by the way. We moved it to 90 days during the Guide reforms. That's how we get incremental change (hopefully) for the better. ;)

If a majority wants it to be evaluated twice a year, let's discuss it. Do we want to do away with it entirely? Let's discuss it.
 
@mboender
1. I am completely fine with your 50% efficiency. Also thank you for clarification about additional works "presentations, blogposts, outreach, meetups, conferences, etc".
Are you saying you didn't know about these?

2. I mean the real outcome in protocol improvements, bugfixes, etc.
Comparing to Who's Core Dev grant I am still thinking that many of your core dev grants are not aligned with received funds.
But let's talk about BIF grants only, as you want that community doesn't evaluate Sphereon activities.
First: Who is a very talented developer.
Second I already explained that the grant system en the standing system are 2 different beast. Yes I am fine if you take some of the grant system into overall standing, as standing is something that by definition is a combination of factors over time.
We also did not state anywhere we don't want evaluation of Sphereon activities. It should simply not be mixed.

Given you provide an analysis, I am happy for your qualitative analyses of the code our developers have produced. Unlike some parties we take development seriously, that means code reviews, proper testing etc. That takes longer indeed. So happy to see your evaluation of the work we have done. Or do you mean you already did that? If so happy to see your remarks about the code itself. Also interested to know whether you would have found that actual bug in the commit. Because not every dev would easily have found it.

I don't really have much to add to the fact you apparently cannot see that it takes time in a company to onboard multiple developers in a project whose code is not properly structured, whilst at the same time people get salaries. I wish our new hires were producing code day one, instead of needing a few months to get up to speed. Guess we live in different worlds.

So to be clear on this. That grant is the reason why you remove standing for BIF altogether?

But this is not related to BIF, so let's omit future discussions on this topic.
Yeah that sounds like the typical modus operandi. First shoot from the hip and then when you get some feedback on it, people can drop it. Or how Americans call it. Throw something against the wall and see whether it will stick.


4. Btw, if BIF is still a part of Marketing Committee? If yes, what the status of explainer video?
No

I hope you read Colin's post as well as the convo in operators-chat on Discord. Because this will go nowhere[/QUOTE]
 
1.
Are you saying you didn't know about these?
I noticed only presentations on behalf of Sphereon and your blog posts on Medium as a former guide and Sphereon CTO.
Will be looking forward for future BIF updates and its activity described there.

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2.
I am aware that onboarding of new developer on the Factom is not an instant process.
But your grant proposal, for which you have been paid 74k$+, clearly claims 2 developers within 3 months or 6 man-months — of course including the onboarding process — which is in line with the budget.

At the same time, according to your grant update, there was no 6 man-months within the time interval of both grants (Dec 2018 — May 2019). If you don't see an issue here, well, it's up to you.

4.
Is @Colin Campbell aware that BIF members (not BIF itself, I want to emphasize this) are not responsible for the explainer video anymore? Did BIF members provide all necessary information to make the explainer video completed by current Marketing WG?
 
So @Anton Ilzheev You have been at every one of our talks, presentations, meetups right?

This is a really really really sad witch hunt.

If only you put as much effort in setting up projects, thinking them through and testing them, as I have pointed out many flaws in the past. I am done and wish you good luck, maybe our resident concern troll has some spare time to entertain you.
 
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