The best stories written or movies produced are ones filled with great characters, an epic battle for good and evil, mountains and valley experiences, wherein the end we are left exhausted, but ready for more. Some of the best narratives can also be seen played out in startups and company’s momentous striving for success.
Alias is no different.
It’s story came from humble beginnings, born out of a desire to create a simple, borderless, private cryptocurrency; improving on Bitcoin’s original idea with more robust privacy protocols and a more energy-friendly network through the use of Proof-of-Stake. Alias has a highly competent core development team comprised of a software architect and a software engineer with decades of experience. Alias aimed to position itself at the forefront of the decentralized privacy revolution.
Some History – The Foundation and CIC
A few things were put into place early on to help with organization, transparency and to help fund the project’s growth. One was to set up a not-for-profit Foundation. At the time it seemed a perfect fit to both operate the project and effectively manage the expenses and income using a system that gave some trust to the project and team. With so many projects starting, pumping, and scamming, the Spectrecoin team wanted to offer some trust to the setup and operations as opposed to a company registered in some offshore territory or another tax haven with relaxed but opaque corporate regulation and taxation.
Hard fork and Supply Increase
In late 2019, the team decided that to maintain its strong desire for building the best tech and tools in crypto, it needed a new mechanism for sustainable funding. They decided to release Spectrecoin v4 with a hard-fork on 27/09/2019 and increase the total supply for Spectrecoin by 3,000,000 XSPEC. This took the total supply to around 25,700,000 XSPEC/SPECTRE which in real terms is a marginal increase. The current ‘Development Contribution Blocks‘ or DCBs were directed to a “Reserve Fund” and all the development costs were funded from the new fund. This move is akin to a ‘normal‘ company increased its share capital in the ‘fiat world‘ to raise funds for further development, something which is not uncommon.
Considering the price of Alias over that time and now, the funds were well invested into the project, covering costs for things such as legal consultation, exchange listings, salaries for foundation members, and other core members working weekly on the project. It helped fund a few key projects and pay for the renaming/rebranding and new website costs, marketing, and content creation, monthly costs for the website, GitHub, AWS (building infrastructure), team infrastructure, accountant costs, etc.
All in all, the investment has brought us to this point producing one of the most bulletproof networks, a first of its kind private staking protocol, a total user data protection, and the latest crown jewel, the full node, first in class private mobile wallet, including private staking. That said, the funds are depleted, aside from the monthly DCB which at the current price, leaves us about $450 USD in Alias per month. Thus, the team got their heads together along with some community leaders and decided to once again, transition the project for future growth.
The Next Chapter
Considering the full investment of the supply increase delivered and some personal changes in the works, in late 2020 discussions started around the idea of moving to a more decentralized community-run and funded project. The idea was to get back to the roots of Satoshi’s vision as well as honor the privacy mandate of the project. As it stood, all core members were public as well as there was an improper perception the project responsibility was fully in their hands, seemingly relinquishing the community from responsibility to managing, funding, and building the project. This was becoming very problematic and only solidified the wrong perspective of a top-down system of leadership and responsibility and we think, stifled the community from joining in.
After considerable reflection and talk with the core and some community members it was deemed appropriate to dissolve the Foundation due to financial responsibilities, privacy factors, and admin time costs and begin talks of a new governance and funding model. Bottom line, to create a new leadership model of empowering and supporting community members and rally the community to fund projects and new roadmap items just like how Bitcoin, Monero, and other top ten projects do. Community lead and community funded.
In summary, these are the key factors in dissolving the Foundation:
- Decentralization – getting back to the roots of crypto
- The project becomes community-driven and funded like Bitcoin and others
- It falls more in line with our user data protection (Privacy) mantra
- It better protects the project and its users from any legal ramifications
- It considerably lessens our costs
- It elliminates the illusion that the project leads will make all the decisions and cover all the costs
The official process to dissolve the foundation was started in January 2021 and will be completed within 3 months.
Development Contribution Block (DCB) will Stay… for now.
The DCBs will stay for now as we regroup and re-strategize for future growth. It may stay indefinitely, but in light of the new leadership and structural plans, we’ll have this discussion with the community. In preparation here are a few things to consider…
+ It does bring in some funds without having to ask for donations and would help with the now lessened expenses due to the Foundation dissolving (Hosting, Server costs, etc.)
+ As value increases, this fund can fund new projects and potentially pay staff and fund exchanges, etc
– It does add a centralized aspect which besides the general disadvantages can be problematic due to potential law enforcement regarding privacy obligations
– The DCBs might give the community the wrong impression that they don’t have to do anything because they already pay DCBs
We saw the Foundation as a central entity receiving DCBs always as a temporary solution (kind of an incubator) until the project is mature enough that it can be run like bitcoin.
We look forward to the community’s input as we strive to better strengthen the project and technology.
More discussions related to new governance models and funding models are in the works and we will be opening this up to community consultation.
Mandica Stepping Down
With any evolution of a project like Alias, staffing and personal shifts are inevitable. We often hear of these things in a negative light, of folks exiting the project due to grievances, or worse, running off with the funds! In this case, it’s all positive and professional. Here’s a short note from Mandica:
“I regret to inform everyone that I am stepping down from my role in Alias. This is not due to any shortcomings or issues with Alias or the team. I have been involved since 2016, and I believe Alias is a superior privacy product. I am stepping back for family reasons and to focus on my day job. Thank you for all your support so far. I am confident that this project will keep innovating and growing and with the existing team and many new talents joining, we’re already seeing levels of energy and progress not seen in here before!” – Mandica
In our discussions with Mandica, he has made it clear that he would at some level, continue to be a community member, but at this time, needs a clean break for the sake of his family and professional livelihood.
We wish Mandica well and thank him for his leadership and vision for this project.
Although some may think the dissolving of the Foundation and the stepping down of a founder is bad news, we see it differently. Although we’ll miss Mandica, he took the time to bring in new talent and leadership and leave us with a solid new name, brand, website and the energy and activity is way up!
Who’s doing what?
As you can see on the website – our team has actually grown! Those who work weekly on Alias projects are the ones listed on the TEAM page. This doesn’t mean these are the ones doing all the work. Far from it. These are passionate professional volunteers committed to leading others and releasing the community to the work at hand. Although we are community-driven, a strong core team is still needed. But it will just be a spear front of the community, maintaining stability and order, coordinating the efforts.
Some Personal Updates
Philip (Tek) will be stepping back a bit to spend time with family. He is still behind the tech and will continue to do maintenance as time allows with the support of Helix and other devs. However, it is important that the community know he cannot commit at this time to implement any new major feature as he did with stealth staking or private mobile.
Yves (Helix) has taken over all responsibilities from Eirik (Mandica) regarding real-life obligations and access management and be the liaison between the community and development, including leading support. He has also taken over the last 100K (Alias) from the supply increase to cover infrastructure costs like Website, Github a.s.o. For the time being the whole build infrastructure is running on his private servers as we need to drastically reduce our monthly costs and so shut down the instances on AWS and Digital Ocean.
Chad (Rhubarbarian) has taken over responsibilities regarding marketing, content creation, and public relations but has also stepped into a few gaps left by Mandica’s leaving including business development, exchange relations, Ambassador relations, etc. Many of these roles are already being passed on to other leads.
Neil (Beachguy) will continue being the amazing community manager with support from many others.
Jason (Titorelli) – has stepped in a PR role being the face of Alias on our newly minted Alias Up video series (Episode 3 is in the works!)
Check out the Team page to see others who have stepped up to help in key areas like Exchange Relations, Marketing, Business Development, Writing, etc! A huge thanks to Brobrowniz, Leo Bitman, Guapic, Rando, Cata de Cruz, RKh, YogJosh, Trainasaruswrecks, Gandalf86, @Marverikgood, and more for their amazing energy and efforts on many levels!
Over the past 5 months, we’ve seen some amazing progress and ever-increasing energy for Alias, especially in the past few months. Let’s review some of these:
- New name, brand, and website
- New Private Mobile Wallet
- Two New exchanges – Freiexchange, Stakecube (listing in February), and soon, Polarity Exchange, plus others
- New merchant adoption efforts and tools – Cryptocurrency Checkout
- NEW Alias Light Wallet “ALiWa” coming in Q2
- New members joining and forming groups around:
- Exchange relations
- Merchant adoption
- Market/trading support
- Regional Ambassadors forming
- Donations coming in like never before (Stakecube and CryptoCheckout app 100% community funded)
- Alias Arts – professional artists rallying together promoting their work and crypto
So, we hope you will join us in this drive for deeper decentralization, the empowering of the community as we all join forces to create the future of private wealth management, with innovative technology as well as grow together as a community of like-minded people.
Alias aims to position itself at the forefront of the decentralized privacy revolution.
“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.”
Supporting the project
Beyond the DCB funds, Alias is a 100% community-sponsored endeavor.
If you want to join our efforts, the easiest thing you can do is support the project financially.
Alias, Bitcoin, and Etherium donations can be made.
Alias donation address: SdrdWNtjD7V6BSt3EyQZKCnZDkeE28cZhr
Bitcoin donation address: 3G5qPF36tDZJfQ8jnT6jBCQubqUvuoQb6d
Etherium Donation address: 0xD0700479aC2Ee8273959f53Eef84d4fe563fd3d3