Welcome to another episode of our AMA series. Today we are glad to tell you about the AMA session with our friends from Pollen.
Pollen is a DeFi Asset Portfolio Management Platform, with an evolutionary crowd-controlled governance model that removes centralization points while improving yields and portfolio performance. It operates on a custom-built DAO. The AMA took place on February 9 and our guests were Alpha DeFi and Phil Verrien.
The total reward pool was 500$ and was divided into three parts. In this AMA Recap we will try to summarize some of the most interesting points for you.
PART 1, INTRODUCTION AND COMMUNITY QUESTIONS
D. | Satoshi Club: good day Satoshi club! Another AMA today, this time with — Pollen!
thanks for joining! Welcome to Satoshi Club!
Alpha DeFi: Hello everyone! Excited to be here. It’s been a really exciting week in Crypto & Defi I must say.
I’m Justin, the community lead here at Pollen along with @phil_verrien here to talk about our DAO built from the ground up for #DeFi.
D. | Satoshi Club: Great! so please tell us more about your project!
Alpha DeFi: Pollen is a custom-built DAO designed specifically for DeFi. It has some unique features including a ‘consensus layer’ which allows for greater degrees of decentralization. This consensus layer governs the creation of the DeFi native PLN token. Then our governance token is called STEM. Our governance model addresses many of the issues which plague DeFi governance today, including asymmetric emissions and sustainability. Despite sophisticated underlying components, Pollen is user friendly and accessible.
Pollen will allow others to create DAOs using our platform, curate custom asset pools and leverage the STEM consensus layer.
D. | Satoshi Club: ‘Consensus layer’? this is some new concept?
never heard about it.
Alpha DeFi: Within our DAO, members can create proposals for Assets. $STEM holders must form consensus to decide which assets the DAO should hold.
Here’s a visual breakdown on how it all works.
D. | Satoshi Club: So it will be like creating erc20 tokens on Ethereum?
Alpha DeFi: Not only does Pollen provide the world’s first fully decentralized index with both governance and order fulfillment being fully decentralized. It is also a DAO platform that will allow others to curate their own indexes which can range from NFTs to Synthetics.
Q1 from Telegram user @Wormz28
A Roadmap is a strategic plan that defines a goal or desired outcome and includes the major steps or milestones needed to reach. So why I can’t see any Roadmap in your Website, as we all know that with a Roadmap, a team can clearly explain to their customers and users where they are going right? Also may we just ask what’s POLLEN current situation and what are you currently working on?
Alpha DeFi: We’re launching mid-February to community and accredited investors. We are in the Alpha stage getting ready for launch so our website and platform will be updated to share the upcoming roadmap. Currently the DAO access will be whitelisted for the first weeks and restricted to community for the first weeks (those who joined our discord channel) and accredited investors.
Pollen is a crowd controlled protocol and community focused, and our launch strategy enables reputation to be built to bootstrap our governance model.
We have an Alpha that people can test out through alpha.pollen.id But for those that want early access on the whitelist, we are giving access to those members through signing up https://contact213796.typeform.com/to/B8i4waLZ
Verrien: Hi Wormz28 much our roadmap is outlined in medium posts but we’ll be publishing a detailed roadmap and elaborated technical documents including a white paper imminently. We launch to production in just over a week and the DAO can be accessed from alpha.pollen.id and this gives a good sense of what the platform is/does.
Alpha DeFi: Sorry clarification. For those interested in early access we have a form to be whitelisted & to sign up directly.
D. | Satoshi Club: Thanks! so it’s open for everyone?
Verrien: It’s open to our discord community initially, whitelisted by Eth address.
Q2 from Telegram user @lzamg
Can you give us more details about the $PLN token? Is it an ERC20 token? When can we expect the Tokenomics of $PLN? Do you have plans of leading pre-sales, private or public?
Alpha DeFi: Pollen (PLN) is a token that is always backed by underlying DAO assets. The token is designed to be a DeFi native, as a less volatile asset designed to outperform the market.
Verrien: $PLN is an ERC token is its fully backed by DAO TLV (underlying DAO assets). It’s designed to be less volatile and a safe harbor.
Alpha DeFi: In terms of sales. Not in the conventional sense, we have a portion of tokens allocated to accredited investors which we will raise in production. This will be used to fund the Pollen foundation. Pollen is community focused and we will ensure that the community has prioritized and early access to rewards.
Q3 from Telegram user @Unknown_Mark
So the higher the capitalization of Pollen, the more optimized the composition of the index, and therefore the greater the portfolio’s returns, can you please clarify to me this point? How can I get more return from using your project?
Alpha DeFi: Pollen is an Index asset pool where anyone can propose to invest / divest crypto tokens. Pollen rewards good decisions. Members who make proposals that benefit the asset pool are rewarded alongside those who voted for them.
Invest / divest decisions that benefit the asset pool are rewarded. As Pollen is able to identify governance users with the best decision making performance, the model encourages other users to delegate their voting rights to them (social trading).
Verrien: One last point, community focused means there is no early alpha to investors, and community will be the first to access the platform at block zero.
D. | Satoshi Club: Btw is still not too late to be an investor, for those who want to, or this round already closed?
Verrien: The round is open and we’ll begin onboarding capital once we are in production later this month.
Q4 from Telegram user @KevSalom
DeFi is something new yet, but it strikes me that you already talk about a next generation or 2.0 DeFi… So, are you already incorporating this new term? What is the distinctive element that would make the contrast between the DeFi we know and the next generation DeFi?
Alpha DeFi: We believe the DeFi is evolving fast. And the way we are contributing to the next generation of DeFi and DAOs is to build our own from the ground up. What we believe and define as the next phase for Defi, is to take and build on what Defi and DAs have currently, evolve in a new way to expand on these foundations further.
Pollen was designed to address a number of DeFi specific problems:
i) The creation of the DeFi native and less volatile PLN asset.
ii) To provide a more accessible and safer way to participate in the DeFi ecosystem.
iii) To create a new, better way to decentralize DeFi governance.
Gold Rocket | Satoshi Club: Creating a new one is always a difficult process!
Alpha DeFi: It’s never easy, but it is also rewarding and allows us to fully build it from the ground up for our community & purpose. We didn’t want to create just another copy & paste platform and DAO.
Gold Rocket | Satoshi Club: By the way, tell us a little more about your team. How many people are involved in making Pollen?
Alpha DeFi: We’ve been working on Pollen for over a year. It’s actually our 1 Year anniversary this month
The Pollen project started in February 2020 as an open source project with the mission of providing better tools and protocols for the DeFi ecosystem.
We have quite the global team too. Developed as a decentralized organization it drew talent from all over the world (UK, US, Berlin and Russia). Check & follow along our GitHub
Q5 from Telegram user @Highpee
In medium, you said that Pollen is a DAO for asset portfolio management and there is no need to own an asset to create proposal to add or remove assets from the DAO. But in the same publication, you also said that the Pollen DAO is governed by STEM token holders and secured by game theory. This sounds a bit confusing and I will need you to provide clarification. Also, since you allow delegated voting where a user can give up his voting right to another, how will you ensure fairness and that this will not be lobbied or manipulated to swing decisions toward a particular direction?
Alpha DeFi: Pollen identifies the best governance decision-makers based on voting reputation and adds them to a Collective Delegation group. This makes delegating STEM easy and makes sure the right people are making the majority of invest/divest decisions.
STEM holders may choose to delegate their vote and share rewards. Also for the 2nd half of the question about Fairness, it is something we also considered as well. I.e. Whale domination or takeovers. We have a number of methods to avoid unfairness/whale domination. For 1/ STEM governance is meteoric, this means smaller players can accumulate STEM based on voting performance rather than the size of their position.
Secondly, we have automatic filling of orders via liquidity pools, this means participants without assets at hand, can still make proposals (and be rewarded with STEM if passed), orders are automatically filled if the proposal is passed.
Q6 from Telegram user @Arisabela
I saw that Pollen is based on the notion that trough cooperation and aligned incentives you can create a system which produces mutual benefits for all, just like the bees. Community cooperation is needed in order to achieve this task, what are the incentives Pollen offers to the community and what expects to receive in return?
Alpha DeFi: It is indeed a collective community just like bees. Reputation in Pollen is based on voting history, we determine how rewards are based on the outcome of decisions taken. Pollen uses a reputation based governance model, we have a number of mechanisms in place to prevent manipulation these include a dynamic pool of the 128 best performers which we call ‘Collective Delegation’.
As Eth addresses pseudo anonymous and the pool dynamic, with cascading voting power within this pool, and with addresses in this pool changing constantly, collusion is extremely challenging. Additionally, as PLN has an internal price calculation, it is much harder to manipulate and there is little to be gained.
As a holder of Pollen & STEM, how can you increase your reputation? There are a number of ways:
By submitting a successfully accepted proposal to add or remove an asset
By voting on a proposal whether to accept or reject
By executing an order
By performing state update tasks, e.g. updating proposals states, or minting rewards for the reward pool.
By owning Pollen — user that hold PLN are rewarded STEM
PART 2, TELEGRAM COMMUNITY LIVE QUESTIONS
The chat was open for 120 seconds; a lot of questions were posted by Satoshi Club community. Our guests chose some of them.
Q1 from Telegram User @testercoin
What kind of users are you targeting with this project as your customers?
Verrien: Pollen is a DAO and we don’t view users as customers. One of problems we wanted to solve from the outset was making a DeFi accessible and safe, and as such Pollen has unprecedented user friendliness. Our Pollenator DAO which is a separate adjoining platform is geared more towards those who participate professionally.
Q2 from Telegram User @topind7
What is your plan to optimize digital asset management and reduce market risk?
Adam C: The eventual plan is to support separate asset pools, categorized by risk and asset types. Low risk pools will be suitable for more traditional financial institutions looking to gain fixed yield defi exposure. We’ll also be looking to add support for leveraged and short positions, allowing portfolio managers to manage market risk effectively.
Q3 from Telegram User @Chinthaka93
You have mentioned that “The PLN token is less volatile and uncorrelated; a new DeFi primitive on which to build” How do you say that PLN is less volatile? We all know that no crypto currencies are non-volatile other than the stable coins. Is PLN a stable coin or normal volatile coin?
Alpha DeFi: Pollen is not a stablecoin. However, Pollen (PLN) is a token that is always backed by underlying DAO assets. The token is designed to be a DeFi native, as a less volatile asset designed to outperform the market.
Q4 from Telegram User @leixagarcia
It strikes me that you comment that we can delegate our vote… How would this be? What would this look like, who can you choose to delegate it to?
Verrien: In Pollen, any Eth address can delegate voting power to any other Eth address, sharing governance rewards. However, we also system called ‘Collective Delegation’ this is a dynamic pool of top performers, made up of 128 Eth addresses. This not only ensures that your voting power will always go to the most deserving, it also means from a UI perspective, it means that delegation looks a lot like staking, producing yield and without painful unstaking.
Q5 from Telegram User @JoxesXIII
Your project claims to be DeFi by the people, but with these high fees it is impossible to execute smart contracts, what solution do you have for this?
Adam C: We have already started working on a layer 2 solution for voting and in the future are planning to introduce gas-less voting utilizing the STEM token itself. Proposal execution is a little trickier but we are exploring some optimizations there.
Q6 from Telegram User @BlancaSdF
How long do you think DeFi will replace CeFi and what role will Pollen play in this?
Verrien: For one I feel we need fully decentralized asset management. And the space needs to be safer and more accessible. Currently DeFi is an essentially a niche for experts, we need to address a number of underlying issues if it’s to grow.
Q7 from Telegram User @Boylut
How many $Stem do I need to hold in other to be part of the DAO?
Adam C: There is currently no minimum requirement of STEM to hold to participate in the DAO in terms of creating proposals and performing tasks like state updates. You will need some STEM to vote however.
Q8 from Telegram User @BJosefina61
Are there risks of loss by delegating my funds to the Pollen protocol, from the point of view of volatility?
Verrien: There is no risk of loss through delegation, and delegating voting power does not mean no longer have position of any tokens held. We’ve implemented a system called ‘traceable delegation’ which traces voting power, and this enables the aforementioned.
Q9 from Telegram User @Guandog
How do you plan to prevent small community groups from getting together to cooperate with each other to the detriment of the rest of the Pollen DeFi members?
Verrien: It’s challenging to collude due to mechanisms such as collective delegation and lack of overall economic incentives. We use a governance process which only allows certain asset types, and as the DAO has an internal price calculation for $PLN, there is little upside even if collusion were possible.
Q10 from Telegram User @wonderkit
Why is Pollen looking for developers in different countries or why not hire a developer close to you or where you work?
Verrien: Pollen is a distributed organization, in part due to our origins as an open source project.
PART 3, QUIZ AND INFO
As usual, for the third part, Satoshi Club Team asked the chat 4 questions about Pollen. A link to a Quiz form was sent into the chat. Participants had 10 minutes to answer. 300$ were distributed between the winners.
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