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Following are some of the more commonly-asked questions and related topics. A work in progress, it will be added to as workchain progresses.
Who's behind workchain?
Antoine took over leadership of Karmacoin cryptocurrency in 2014 from its developer – who abandoned the project – and instituted many crypto firsts such as the first coin to communicate detailed project plans, schedules, the first coin to allow its community to vote on matters, hold conference calls, the first to incorporate and be run as a business, the first coin to hold an ICO, one of the first to issue press releases, among the first to apply for a trademark, and other developments that most in the space only understood in hindsight.
First, let's dispel some of the myths contrived by one blogger covering Karmacoin, the original ICO, and the role that the creator of Workchain (who became project lead of Karmacoin). played. The following is taken from this blog post and is riddled with inaccuracies, written more than 4 years after Antoine left the Karmacoin project.
Rather than go through every inaccuracy, let's go through the major points. "Members purchased shares..." is not the case, as the Karmacoin community 'staked' their Karma coins, receiving "sharepoints" in a legal entity, Karmashare LLC, in return. Indeed, 100% of coins sent to the escrow account that Antoine had sole control over (worth approximately 530 BTC) was returned to each owner when Antoine decided to shutter Karmashares to comply with new government guidelines regarding cryptocurrencies.
Karmacoin was begun by a developer called 'Karmagood' who soon abandoned the project. It was taken over by 4 community members, including Antoine, who was elected project manager. Karmashares was created by Antoine as a way to breathe new life into Karma.
Here the author talks about various projects that we had planned, stating that "No evidence exists to show any of these projects grew to become anything more than talk..." without doing much research. Lill was the first project. The others were in various stages of planning (with FABRIK being done by a member of the community, 'Delaforetnoire'). The beta for Lill was released in May, just 1-2 months after announcing Karmashares. It was a fully-functional search engine, developed using Antoine's own personal funds. Here you can see that new features were being added, including a revolutionary new 'shoutout' event portal that allowed users to schedule and hold live video-based events where they could chat with other members and share other types of media.
Obviously, all of the projects were not being worked on simultaneously. (Though all of the funding for Karmashares was coming out of Antoine's pocket personally, including trademark and other legal fees, web hosting, and much more. Antoine also funded the majority of development for Karmacoin's algorithm switch to X11, nearly 2 BTC.)
"Karmashares ran afoul of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commision (SEC)" is a misinterpretation of a statement that Antoine made in a press release (here), "Citing new guidance from the SEC on digital currencies, Antoine ceased Karmashares operations just a few weeks after launching and returned all tokens to their respective parties." As noted in this post from 2014, Antoine wanted to respect US law and pre-comply with coming government regulations, unlike other crytocurrencies that were ignoring the law. It doesn't mean that any government organization contacted any member of Karmashares, nor 'ran afoul' of anything.
The IRS issued its first guidance on virtual currencies within a few weeks of Karmashares openng its doors. The stance on cryptocurrencies being regarded as property by the IRS and the SEC beginning to take a look into cryptocurrencies was something of importance, especially considering that Karmashares wanted to operate within the law.
That a VC was interested in talks to possibly acquire Lill with the stipulation that Antoine continue developing it for another entity was something the Karma team and community gladly wanted to accept. Antoine would, essentially, be working for free with only the Karmashares owners benefiting (as he himself owned no part, due to conflicts of interest). Talks were closed, much to the disappointment of a community that placed profits before people.
Due to these moral differences and potential legal hurdles, Antoine offered to make anyone on the team or in the community a director of Karmashares (replacing him) to run the business as they wished, but no one volunteered. Thus, Karmashares LLC was closed. Here is the post outlining the matter.
He cites “extensive experience leading massive IT projects for a large city (1999)”, but he never identifies the city. “An entrepreneur from age eight, he has also worked for some of the biggest companies in the world…”
Antoine was the sole Year 2000 IT Project Manager for the City Colleges of Chicago, with a staff of 30+ auditing and repairing nearly 20,000 computers and servers across 19 locations, and the referenced page said as much (I removed it in 2018). I have also worked for KPMG, Unilever (twice-over, once on implementing a digital asset management system for their Ben & Jerry's subsidiary), Leo Burnett, Energizer, and others.
Antoine began working at the Financial Relations Board when I was 19 in the Shareholder Management Services department, reporting directly to the board of directors of Fortune 100 clients such as EMC, Starwood Financial Trust, Flextronics, and Molecular Biosystems while simultaneously acting as both interim Director for the department and interim Director of Research for the company. Per this article, FRB had nearly 300 employees and 550 clients at the time. When Antoine was an executive at FRB he was 20 years old, the youngest in the company's history.
LinkedIn shows Financial Relations Board to be a company of less than 20 people.
After it was acquired some years after Antoine left, the number of people working directly for FTB dropped to 25, per the same article.
He claims the honor of “an inclusion in Standard and Poor’s Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives as its youngest member”. Searching the register reveals no entry on Antoine Sorel Néron.
It also reveals no one else in the publication, as the link references the StanfordLibrary where copies of archived books may be found. It is not a search engine for the the content of the book. The book was updated every few years, and Antoine was listed in the 1994-1996 editions as an executive of the Financial Relations Board. Making the book searchable online to the public would have defeated the purpose of charging upwards of $350 for it.
Something could sound like complete bullshit and be absolutely true at the same time. Thinking that something can't be true because it sounds unbelievable is a logical fallacy.
In 2017 Antoine re-joined the Karma community to refresh the project and update the wallets., which had not been updated since Antoine had left 3 years prior. However, with more than 10% of the circulating supply having been stolen by a member of the team , a swap was needed. With a strong community but a lack of leadership or team, Antoine decided to fork the idea of Karma and create Goodomy on Ethereum when it became clear that only one other member of the community wanted to switch to Ethereum and only allow a swap from non-stolen wallets. (Most saw Ethereum as untested and unnecessary, and wanted to update the current wallet for which no funds were had to do so.)
Cryptsy, Karma's second-largest exchange, went bust (along with the first, MintPal) and all of their wallets went up for grabs by the court-appointed executor, for free and to the first person that responded. A former team member grabbed Karma's near-10 billion wallet before Antoine had a chance to respond to the executor. This former team member refused to release the address of the wallet to the community, though it was clear that funds were being drained because it was the largest active wallet in the block explorer. This presented a major problem for the future of Karma.
As history repeats itself, no evidence exists to show OTOL and Shopomy exist as anything other than talk. And Goodomy boasts 5 followers on LinkedIn.
Shopomy was re-named Goodomy and became the main Goodomy app. It has been downloaded more than 10,000 times and has a rating of 4.7 on Google Play. (And, as you can see in the URL, the original name was Shopomy.) However, it is being re-released on the Fantom network with additional social networking features. However, Goodomy never held an ICO, and the coffers have never contained more than $12,000. Antoine has personally used ~$40,000 of his own funds for Goodomy development and other expenses.
OTOL stands for 'Orgranizational Technolog Over a Ledger' and is an interface for Workchain. Workchain - Distributed Organization Technology - has been the focus, because that is what OTOL needs to function.
The first paragraph references an entirely different project that was ;launched in 2018, running off of the EOS network. The code belongs to them and has nothing to do with the original Karma/Karmacoin.
The second paragraph references Karmacoin code for its wallet. Nearly all cryptocurrencies at the time were forks of Bitcoin, so it is no surprise that the code would be similar (though not the same, as Karmacoin used the X11 algorithm and made other modifications).
The original Karmacoin is the cryptocurrency that Antoine helped to lead. and the only one he worked on.
Karmacoin was developed by someone else who set a very high total supply and extremely high inflation, with a back door in the code so that coins would be secretly minted into his wallet. Antoine, a member of the community, took over as Project Lead after the developer abandoned the project, possibly because of the extremely low market capitalization at the time.
This is for the unrelated Karma token launched by another entity in 2018, running on EOS.
The only accuracy here is that the old Karmacoin still trades on YoBit at 0 daily volume. (It's a strange addition, as the author says the projects are dead.)
The history of the ICO only matters when thinking about why ICOs were created in the first place. Before entities began abusing the ICO model, Antoine preferred to remain relatively anonymous in the crypto space.
The ICO was either invented by Antoine or one of the Mastercoin founders, depending on what source you're looking at. The Wikipedia entry on 'initial coin offering' is highly controlled (and is constantly monitored by a PR firm, possibly paid by those with skin in the game.) This activity can be seen by a number of controversial and nonsensical edits, such as editing out the date of the Karmacoin 'ICO', deleting text that makes it easy to distinguish between an ICO and a token fundraiser, deleting the phrase 'the first ICO of 2014 was Karmacoin' altogether, and more.
With many millions of dollars in cash and tokens being offered to Antoine for advisory and lead roles in the ICO bubble for various projects (which he always rejects without consideration, past, present, and future) and billions more in the industry as a whole, it is no surprise that the fabled 'revision of history' on Wikipedia also takes place with fin-tech entries.
There is another article on Forbes mentioning that the ICO was created in 2013 by someone else. The article was written by a freelancer that can be hired on Upwork for $30 an hour. (An article written by an Upwork freelancer who has a publisher's account with said publication typically costs from $1200-$1800. Now you know why there are so many ICO and crypto 'press release'-type articles posted on certain influential websites and their Twitters.)
Although Mastercoin held a 'crowdsale' in 2013 it is not the same as an ICO. Crowdfunding is merely a method of fundraising (or, as their whitepaper puts it, their crowdsale "will essentially be a fundraiser to provide money to pay developers to write the software which fully implements the protocol", whereas an ICO is meant to raise both capital and act as a representation of ownership interest in an enterprise, like a digital stock certificate, according to Amy Wan, Esq., of Trowbridge Sidoti LLP. Karmashares' digital certificate was offered to each participant.
The definition of what an ICO is had changed in order to meet the needs of those who seek only profit from them.
The first token sale was in 2013. Approximately 9 months later, on April 19, 2014, Karmacoin held the first ICO with Karmashares (and sub-entities called IPOCOs). A Karmacoin team member was, in fact, the first non-Mastercoin user who posted in the official Mastercoin thread, promoting Karmacoin. Two weeks later, Mastercoin held an unannounced token sale, then several other entities began to announce their sales. Also in April, Antoine reached out to a few other coins about the success of the model, such as ReddCoin.
However, the ICO was never meant to serve as a business model as, unfortunately, the majority of subsequent ICO projects have done. Because they were changed into wealth engines for their owners rather than a method of empowering the community, Antoine decided to re-formulate his original vision of the ICO into a decentralized smart contract and make it so that no one is able to control it.
Thus, workchain was born.
How do workchain incentives compare with blockchain?
Blockchain provides dual, one-way incentives to the miner (directly) to perform work. Workchain provides a two-way incentive mechanism that can reward participants based on organic consensus (for producers) and weight (for buyers).
Because we are used to thinking of crypto as having only one-way incentives like bitcoin, the concept may be difficult to grasp at first. It may even seem like 'voodoo economics' to some.
Whether or not someone understands workchain (or, at least, thinks they do) there are plenty of historical examples of people equating new technology with something that is dangerous or harmful, such as the telephone or automobile. A great majority of the population still thinks Bitcoin is a scam. When you explain to them how it works, they can't conceptualize it. They may even claim that they understand it completely, and that is printing money over the internet.
The real understanding of workchain and decentralized capitalism will come when people can make use of it. No consumers needed the internet in 1991, but they could have made use of it. The more people use it the more value that they can extract from it without understanding how it works at all. As workchain spreads it will become easier to use.
The workchain source code is entirely open-source and straightforward. There are no mysterious functions or processes, or hidden wallet addresses.
Workchain doesn't make any sense to me.
The future isn't supposed to make sense from the present. If it did, it would already be clearly seen. Is workchain the future of capitalism? There's no way to know what the future looks like, but it's safe to say that it'll be much different than today. Workchain will take time to develop and for people to see the value of, just as any other useful model did. However, workchain has the potential to disrupt just about every organization in the world, not just a handful in certain fintech industries.
If we compare workchain and blockchain to other kinds of technology, we might get something like this:
It would be difficult to think about the need for radio ("workchain") when by 1900 the telegraph ("bitcoin") had morphed into the spectacular invention of the telephone and it was spreading rapidly.
Radio programs created value for the masses, whereas with a telephone call one could transact information with one other person at a time. Even so, no one really thought about this one-to-many value transfer until decades after the telephone was invented. People saw no need to actually produce anything using similar methodologies, as the telephone was disruptive enough at the time.
You can think of an ITO like a radio, with each station on it being run by one or more producers who create value by adding programs to it so that listeners (buyers) can tune in. The listener has already paid for the radio (ITO token) so they get all the stations for free (reward distributions). If they like a program enough they'll stay for the whole program, which validates it (with ratings) and provides the station with more advertising revenue to keep going.
Does the 'greater fool' theory apply to ITOs?
No, because the price is the same for everyone. One buys into an ITO in order to participate in its economy, and provide reciprocal rewards to producers, not to sell the tokens later. You could think of buyers getiting a token subscription service whereas producers are getting funding to provide better tokens as part of the service. However, eac participant needs to perform some kind of work in order to receive a reward for it. ITOs are utilities, not investment vehicles.
I am a buyer and have just received my reward. What can I do with it?
Anything you want. Your rewards are yours to keep. If you received ETH, you can do with it as you like. If you received personal or business tokens, you can use them appropriately or keep them for potential future value.
Why would I want those producers tokens that I can't sell now?
Each ITO has its own general purpose, and each will have tokens that are useful within that purpose.
If you're participating in a men's products ITO called 4MEN, for example, then many of the people that hold the token would be interested in those kinds of products. Further, the producers would want to supply them with those products in exchange for receiving their own tokens back with some kind of validation.
If you have received a total of 465,500 tokens from various retailers from being in 4MEN a few months, these have value to you because you are probably interested in what they have to offer. Of those 465,500 tokens, perhaps:
The value of something is, of course, determined by the marketplace. In this case, the people buying into the men's products ITO value the tokens from retailers selling those products because they can use them to obtain what they're interested in.
Why would a producer want their own token as payment?
Because they have a fixed supply of tokens (ideally), a producer would want to be able to distribute those to other potential customers. By charging for a product or service in their own token plus requesting a certain number of validations to go along with it, the buyer could potentially receive a product worth $300 for only $45, for example, while the seller (producer) received $800 in rewards for a product that cost $184 wholesale. The producer would need to figure out the best weights between token distribution, prices, and number of validations needed for a purchase. This kind of radically different economic model wouldn't be for everyone, of course.
Why can't I just pay that provider directly? What's the benefit?
You're certainly welcome to use traditional methods of value exchange, but workchain is designed for a more distributed and decentralized economy that can reward the most competitive parties on both sides..
When a producer prices a product or service in a limited-supply currency of their own creation, they are taking advantage of a unique economic model where costs and rewards can be distributed over a much wider population than found in a one-to-one exchange, potentially allowing them to earn much more than they would be able to otherwise.
Why is Fantom consensus network preferred over Ethereum?
Speed and decentralization go hand-in-hand. The slower and more costly a network or organization is, the more it mirrors bureaucracy.
Why are there disclaimers?
As an open-source project, no one except for you is responsible for your actions or your use of the information found on this website or of the code.
Who controls the ITO's private keys?
As can be seen from the code, no private keys are generated. Once an ITO is initialized by linking its two contracts together, the creator has the same rights and authority as everyone else.
Once an ITO is released, the settings cannot be changed.
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