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  • Astronaut Scott Kelly is Minting NFTs for a Very different Reason

    When people outside the blockchain space talk about NFTs it’s usually in a less favorable light. Often bringing up the excessive energy consumption that occurs on the Ethereum (or a similar) blockchain or the lack of practical application in regard to the technology. Sometimes people are just parroting their favorite late night talk show host or some other equally uninformed online source.

    There are some incredible practical applications coming to the NFT space that we will be discussing (and showing) in the future. At the same time, NFTs created as a piece of art continue to demonstrate incredible value. In all artistic spaces there are people who produce art strictly for commercial reasons. And then there are those who create art because they are passionate about the message or the story that they are sharing through their art. Scott Kelly is one of those types of artists… and more.

    Kelly is many things. He’s a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. Kelly also commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions. In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space and the single longest space mission by an American astronaut. He is also an artist and a philanthropist.

    He recently raised over $500k USD on an NFT auction, donating 100% of those proceeds to help the people of the Ukraine as they fight to survive the Russian invasion of their country. That auction happened on Open Sea. Kelly was very happy about the funds they raised but is passionate about the environment and decided he needed a greener blockchain option in the future. Thus he turned to Telos, the ESG blockchain. A chain that can do 10,000 TPS, is totally green, costing a fraction what it costs on Ethereum, with transactions that are nearly feeless.

    With this next set of NFTs Kelly partnered with Western NFTs, Inc. to mint a series of one of a kind NFTs featuring 15 photographs that also include an audio description in his own voice, describing a bit of the story connected to each of the amazing pictures. All of the images are taken from his year aboard the International Space Station.

    These beautiful pieces of art are totally unique, capturing a single moment viewed from 254 miles above the surface of our planet from a vehicle traveling at over 17,000 miles per hour. That moment — that perspective will never be seen again.

    The NFT’s are being minted and auctioned on Telos, utilizing the Telos EVM. The NFTs can be viewed and bid on while the auction is live at scottkellyart.com, where the auction will run for at least 48 hours. If a bid is placed in the final 10 minutes of the auction, the auction will extend 10 minutes from the time the bid is placed.

    This unique collection of NFTs is being launched on Telos because it aligns with Kelly’s passion for sustaining the environment. Once again Kelly is also donating 100% of the profits from this auction to the people of the Ukraine in their fight for freedom.

    The auction goes live on May 12, 2022 at 17:00 UTC.

    If you’d like to check out the art in advance go the scottkellyart.com

    GoodBlock Technologies is a partner with Western NFTs, Inc.

  • Interview with Annie Brown

    The third installment in our “Women’s History Month posts series is with Annie Brown. Annie Brown is the director of Communications for Codepath which is a non profit organization that serves computer science students who desire a career in tech and also is the founder of Lips. Lips is a social media platform that is designed for women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. What makes this platform unique, is the focus on that community and drastically eliminating the type of harassment that is present on many Web 2 sites that we see today. Annie’s background is in communications with a focus of looking at media through a gendered lens. This approach to media, especially as Web3 continues to grow in popularity, helps tackle the problem many marginalized communities face while navigating Web2 spaces currently. Lips revolutionizes the original idea of the internet, which is the ability to give ownership back to creators. Lips operates within the blockchain, therefore, providing anonymity as well. Continuing with the theme of the previous articles, the same questions will be asked so we can see the broad spectrum of women’s perspectives in such an emerging industry.

    Q: How can we as a community focus on bridging more women into roles such as yours within the community?

    Annie states that this can be achieved in a couple of different ways. First, from Lips perspective, “We would like to introduce folx to emerging technologies. If someone is interested in gender, anti racist theory, etc. social justice movements. Technology is not always at the forefront of them progressing. Technology is incredibly important, and gives people intersectionality within technology. I think we need to make sure that these communities have the support they need.” This type of representation gives many people from marginalized backgrounds voices that they may not always have had access to in voicing opinions and concerns. Annie states that, “As long as communities can build and populate these technologies, these things can be impactful. Web3 isn’t impactful when it isn’t accessible to all communities. Governance and moderation has been done for the purpose of showing it can be done, what we’re trying to do is provide for the needs within communities. Requires a diversity of voices so that they are built and can continue to be built that way.”

    Do you feel women aren’t as comfortable in tech? Why or why not?

    Annie believes that this isn’t a universal ideology when it comes to the tech industry and the many branches under the large umbrella term. They believe that it depends on where you are in tech and the culture of the startup and tech of where you are. Larger companies discourage folx femme presenting people from participating in tech, specifically their own communities because they are already aware of the type of culture they participate in. However, instead of implementing better standards of practice to counteract this negative outcome, many companies choose not to change the behavior at all. Annie mentions that not all companies subscribe to that ideology. Companies that are doing well, such as Codepath, have an inviting culture and have a social impact foundation and inclusion from the start rise to the start of tech so that can be the face of tech. Non Inclusive models are not sustainable for society or the industries that they choose to be a part of. When successful companies are not transparent with the type of community they foster, this is not reliable data, because behind closed doors, individuals are secretly being excluded from some of these larger communities’ data.

    What are some of your personal goals you would like to see for Web 3.0 and blockchain technology within the next year and within the next five years?

    Annie would love to see Lips recognized as an example as a successful use of blockchain and more of a discussion around the importance of inclusion as a necessary part of building good technologies, more buzz and more excitement around the social impact and less about financial growth. They would also like to have the focus be on gender equality when discussing media and the social implications of inclusivity on marginalized communities.

    Were you familiar with Women’s History Month prior to this meeting? How did you celebrate? Who are women in your life that you look up to?

    For Annie much of her day to day focuses on feminist/queer theory but they do like that women’s stories are brought to the forefront and able to participate as a speaker in events. Annie looks up to Leah, Erika and Betty. All women who are making large contributions in the blockchain community. Also, Silvia Maa she’s an investor in Lips and Barbara Bickam was on the first congressional briefing of women of color in DC, and Kiesha Cash impact America fund. The women who are building and funding these products and the Lips team all women and genderqueer team. Helping them build LGBTQ entrepreneurship and mentors.

    This article was written by Goodblock Technologies, Marketing and Administrative Assistant, Joslyn Branham. She holds a Communications degree from The Ohio State University which focuses in Social Media Marketing and a focus in media research.

  • Buying Your First Telos in 2022

    More than three years ago we published several articles on how to use Telos Network. It’s been a minute and a lot has changed in this time. We want to make it as clear and easy as possible for new users to interact with and learn about Telos. As we go through the first steps, we will endeavor to include definitions and terms that you may or may not be familiar with and may or may not understand in the context of blockchain. We will explain it all and include a glossary of terms at the end for reference. So without further ado, let’s get started.

    TLOS is the ticker symbol for the native coin or token on the Telos Blockchain Network.

    Coin: “Simply put, a coin is a digital asset which is ‘native’ to its blockchain.” A type of cryptocurrency created to be used as money. Coins help with paying for goods and services, can be held for use later, and can be divided into fractions of the whole. Many people use “Coin” and “Token” synonymously and the differentiation is debated.

    Token: “Unlike coins, which directly represent a proposed medium of exchange, crypto tokens are a representation of an asset on a blockchain. These can be held for value, traded, and ‘staked’ to earn interest.

    The first thing you need is a Telos Account.

    Account: A 12 character (generally speaking) address on the Telos Network, chosen and connected to public/private keys by the user.

    The easiest way to get a free account is at wallet.telos.net.

    This opens the signup screen where you fill in the blanks and copy and save your keys. It should be noted that the keys generated at this site are only one set, while best security practices indicate that users are advised to utilize two sets of keys. This can be easily accomplished later but for the purposes of getting started we will save that for another time.

    Key security here cannot be emphasized enough. If you do not maintain 100% control of your private key, your account and any TLOS or other tokens associated with it are at risk of being lost or stolen from you. This means, you should not keep it on your phone. You should not keep it on a sticky note under your keyboard or anywhere else that someone else can access it. You should not take a photo of it and post it on the internet and you should not share it with anyone. You may be wondering what you should do with this thing now that you have it saved in a txt file and it’s sitting on your desktop. For the purposes of this article, we will leave it to you to research best practices for crypto key security and do what makes the most sense for you. Please do that. It is a very sad thing to lose your keys and we all known someone or a few who have done that very thing and lost thousands.

    So now that you have secured your keys it is time to get a “wallet” so you can use them.

    Wallet: A device or software program that allows the user to store their cryptographic keys and interact with the network to sign transactions and use their account.

    We recommend the Anchor Wallet by Greymass. This can be downloaded for Linux, Mac and Windows through links at Greymass.com. Additionally, there are mobile products available for download from the respective Play stores.

    With your new Anchor Wallet installed (version as of the writing of this article is v1.3.1) you will need to add your newly created account.

    Then you will create a password and confirm on the next two screens.

    Choose your blockchain (Telos) then import your newly made account into Anchor with the private key you saved. See screenshots below.

    Enter the private key you saved when you created your account. The account matching your key will appear as below.

    Note: there are two permissions associated with this private key. @active & @owner

    Permissions: Permissions control what account users can do and how actions are authorized.

    When you created your free account, it assigned the same key for both owner and active permissions. The owner permission can do all actions while the active permission can do all with the exception of changing keys. This is why it is important to use different keys for owner and active permissions.

    Before you put any TLOS in your new account it is important to change at least one of your keys so that you can ensure the security of your account. Best practice is to change both to keys you generate on your machine in Anchor, while not connected to the internet.

    To navigate there in Anchor: Click Tools in the left menu bar and Manage Keys under the Security section.

    Click the Generate Key Pairs button. Followed by the Generate Key Pair (x2) Button. This will generate two new key pairs as pictured below. You may copy to clipboard and paste them as needed and save them to your Anchor Wallet. Follow the prompts to save the keys. Then close the window.

    When you close the window you will be taken to the Key Management screen and will see the newly saved keys in along with the number of accounts associated with each key. The new keys will reflect zero.

    Now that you have new keys you can update the permissions of your account by assigning one of each of the new public keys to the the owner permission and the other to the active permission.

    At the top of your screen make sure you are logged in using the owner key of the account you want to change.

    Go back to Tools and select Permissions under Security.

    In this image, I have already changed the Active Permission and will now change the Owner Permission.

    Note the warning regarding altering account permissions.

    Select the Modify button which will open up a modal that allows you to replace the existing public key with the new one that you just created.

    As indicated in the image replace the existing public Key with your new one. Note the additional warnings. Make sure that you have secured and have access to the new private key.

    Clicking Update Permission will automatically change the key associated and you will now need to delete the old key from your wallet as shown below.

    Click Home in the left panel and then the Manage Wallets button.

    Next, select the menu next to the Use Wallet button and choose “delete wallet” for each of the keys on the left side that you have replaced. For each one you will be required to enter your Anchor password.

    Once you have deleted the old keys that you have replaced, click the + Import Account(s) button in the upper right.

    Select either option and Anchor will search the blockchain for any accounts that match the keys you have saved in your wallet.

    Click the check box and click the + Import Account (s) button as shown below. Enter your password and you are set.

    Now that you have a Telos Account and it is loaded into your Anchor key signer with fresh new keys, you are ready to fill it up with TLOS. You can see which exchanges are listing TLOS at telos.net

    Telos is listed on a few exchanges but non that trade directly with USD, which means you will need to use USD to purchase a different token that can be traded for TLOS. Common pairs are USDT/TLOS and BTC/TLOS.

  • Interview with Betty Waitherero

    This is the second installment in my “Women’s History Month” series this month. What has been so interesting in this series has been asking the same general questions, and getting vastly different answers from the women asked. This further proves that women do not exist as a monolith, but as multi faceted entities in the world. The next featured woman making incredible waves in the blockchain community is Betty Waitherero. Betty’s background is in media, political science and communications. Like most individuals within blockchain, she was introduced to the concepts via a dear friend who is an engineer. This friend shared their passion for renewable energy within countries that would greatly benefit from the change, such as Kenya where Betty is from. During our interview, Betty further educated me on the benefits of blockchain technology, web3 and how this can be put into terms of creating equality for all and her methods of bettering the world through these methods.

    Q: How can we as a community focus on bridging more women into roles such as yours within the community?

    A: Betty states that this work should start before children and young adults have entered into the workforce. She recalls when she attended high school in Kenya and that even though every student took the same exit exams in high school, subjects such as tech and medicine were discouraged for the girls even though they received some of the highest scores on these exams. Betty explains that this is just the beginning of the misogyny that many women face when entering male dominant career fields. When women are discouraged from an early age from these introductory topics, you see an uneven playing field later in life. When we discourage women from even trying it becomes an unsupported idea that women are not intelligent enough to pursue these careers, even though there is no fact to support that claim. Betty states clearly, “It is my expressed opinion that women are smarter than men when it comes to science based subjects.” “If men can do it, it really isn’t that hard.”

    What are some of your personal goals you would like to see for Web 3.0 and blockchain technology within the next year and within the next five years?

    A: As we further discussed the general basics of blockchain technology and crypto, Betty explained to me that the use of tokens within the blockchain system should move towards accessibility outside of financial gain and profit, but accessibility to individuals who may not possess much capital power in the existing mainstream world. She says that her goal would be for mass adoption and accessibility of various coins that benefit many different communities and many different purposes. To make mass adoption accessible, there needs to be, in Betty’s opinion, a more concise, easily understood communication system to the numerous communities around the world. Betty explains that without a universal communication system, people who already know how to use digital monetary systems, do not know that human readable wallets and crypto currencies are things that they already know how to use and are even more secure than current centralized banking.

    Were you familiar with Women’s History Month prior to this meeting? How did you celebrate? Who are women in your life that you look up to?

    A: Betty is very aware of Women’s HIstory Month and attributes her knowledge of the month to her time at university in Kenya. She says that it was very important to not only know about Kenya women, but women all around the world. The women that inspire Betty in her lifetime and the work she has dedicated herself to are, Wangari Maathai, one of the biggest influences in renewable energy in Kenya, and her approach to environmental activism. Arumbhati Roy. One of the thinkers around community and activism. Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou, and most specifically, one of Maya Angelou’s most famous poems, Still I Rise.

    This article was written by Goodblock Technologies, Marketing and Administrative Assistant, Joslyn Branham. She holds a Communications degree from The Ohio State University which focuses in Social Media Marketing and a focus in media research.

  • Interview with Uma Hagenguth

    On February 23 of this year, I had an opportunity to have a chat with one of the biggest names in blockchain technology, Uma Hagenguth. Uma Hagenguth is the COO and co-founder of Appics AG, a social media platform akin to Instagram, is housed on the Telos network. Uma has been involved with crypto since 2011 and introduced blockchain technology in 2013. By 2016 she became fully immersed by blogging, then in 2018 is when she became the co-founder of Appics, by Tony Winchester.

    In more detail this is how Appics works and is revolutionary. Appics works like Instagram, a social media app centered around the sharing of pictures, but is based on blockchain technology. So instead of likes and a third party calculating your interests, algorithmically, there is an integrated reward system, Appics Token ($APX). The community on the platform decides what’s valuable. This means that if you want to continue to see, perhaps more dog videos, you send the creator of dog videos Appics tokens, to effectively pay them for their content. This means there is no middle man, or third party receiving compensation. How the pay works is there is a pool that goes to creators and commentors, and followers vote what is valuable. 65% of the post goes to the creator, 25% goes to fans who comment on creators’ posts, and 10% goes back to the apps. This system is decentralized, and starts earning the minute you are active. Uma describes this as a great introduction to cryptocurrency because of the relatability to existing systems. This method of social interaction causes users on Appics to think more about what is valuable on their feeds and to think critically about how the content should be valued. People tend to be more cautious and bring more authenticity and positivity to social media with more engagement. Appics engagement is significantly higher than existing web 2.0 social mediums, and less about algorithms and more about engaging in community with one another.

    In this quickly emerging field of technology, or just technology in general, we often find ourselves in a male-dominated industry. With this short article, I intend to highlight the women who are making plenty of noise simply by the exceptional work they are producing for the masses through blockchain technology. With a few questions, my intention is to learn more about these individuals and make blockchain more accessible to those who may feel like this is an intimidating space.

    Q1:The goal you plan to achieve with Appics is to make blockchain and Web 3.0 technology more accessible in general. How can we as a community focus on bringing more women into roles such as yours within the community?

    A: First, present education that is marketed and focused towards women and the info is tech savvy and brand it towards women, much of tech has been predominantly targeted towards men. Secondly, instead of highlighting women for the sake of being women, Uma states just make it a norm to recognize the work that women put forth and have women support other women within these spaces get more female voices on board.

    Do you feel women aren’t as comfortable in tech? Why or why not?
    A: Uma states that personally there is a big stigma within society about what is classified as a job suitable for a man and a job that is suitable for a woman. That creates opportunities for developing and having room for both for women. She believes that it’s just a matter of creating a new narrative around this idea for bringing women into the tech space. Reaching out towards women in other industries that they are capable of working in tech and breaking down barriers and stigmas within these varying places. Uma also states, “women shouldn’t be placed on a pedestal. The main goal is to have valuable work that speaks for itself. Also, do not be intimidated by being the only woman in the space and let your work speak for yourself.”

    What are some of your personal goals you would like to see for Web 3.0 and blockchain technology within the next year and within the next five years?
    A: Uma would like to focus on mass adoption on Appics, an NFT marketplace, having a place within the metaverse and being decentralized within other industries such as finance and other social media platforms. Within the next 18 months: for bitcoin to become more prominent and mass adoption of countries accepting crypto as valid currencies.

    Were you familiar with Women’s History Month prior to this meeting? How did you celebrate? Who are women in your life that you look up to?

    A: Uma says, while being familiar with the month, there has not been a big spotlight on Women’s History Month in her life. Uma says her team at Appics is evenly represented; half of the core team are women and that is who inspires her. These women who present good work and create an even playing field that is balanced. Uma says, it’s not so much about them being women it’s also very much about the work that inspires her, and that they just happen to be women is inspiring.

    This article was written by Goodblock Technologies, Marketing and Administrative Assistant, Joslyn Branham. She holds a Communications degree from The Ohio State University which focuses in Social Media Marketing and a focus in media research.

  • GoodBlock Roadmap: Telos in 2022

    GoodBlock is adding nodes and oracles to expand the Telos ecosystem this year. Here are the current and planned rollouts.

    We’re Expanding Functionality!

    GoodBlock is adding a suite of Oracles and redundancy nodes to the Telos Ecosystem. The Telos Blockchain depends on these types of enhancements to grow and thrive. Adding new functionality improves what smart contracts can do. Adding redundancy improves the speed and resiliency of the chain. So we’re adding both!

    DelphiOracle — Provides a price feed for the Telos environment. This Oracle is a reliable source for getting price information on the exchange of TLOS. This Oracle is useful for proving that TLOS has value and liquidity. These are key considerations of Fiat Exchanges to list our token.

    Hyperion — Hyperion is an improvement on the current history API solution Telos uses (v1). Hyperion uses Elasticsearch, a powerful search engine which is capable of deep searches with fast results. dApps can use Hyperion to search historical transactions faster than previous iterations, helping them stay current.

    BlockBase — BlockBase is the chain applied to Databases. Customers can use BlockBase-derived sidechains to create complex databases. It provides full encryption of the data, only accessible by encryption keys.

    RNG Oracle — The blockchain doesn’t do one thing very well and that’s Random Number Generation. Yet this is an oracle API that generates random numbers for use inside smart contracts. Random outcomes are a core element in many games and decision engines, making this oracle a must.

    We’re Building Decentralized Applications!

    DecideVoter — DecideVoter has had some incredible events in the last few months. First, the cost to make a voting treasury has dropped from 500 to 20 TLOS. This allows anyone to be in reach of a voting engine for DAOs, governance, or even where to eat for Friday’s outing. DAOs are going to find DecideVoter to be an excellent and already running dApp. DecideVoter was recently used to hold the Telos Foundation elections this year! 259 voters participated, with more than 400 Million TLOS used to vote. This is an incredible start to the year for DecideVoter. Join DecideVoter here: https://decidevoter.app/

    dStor — dStor is the future of decentralized application storage. This year, dStor will be used for NFTs, corporate files storage, and a whole host of decentralized applications coming to Telos. Prices for the service use USD and not tokens which adds resiliency for cost to use. dStor’s node operators are incentivized to provide higher quality storage, so files are locally highly available. Find dStor here: https://dstor.cloud/

    A New You, and Telos in 2022!

    Thank you for taking the time to read our roadmap. There is strength in this token, as shown by the many teams who are working to grow the chain’s capabilities. An election of the Telos Foundation has brought in fresh faces, including our own @FernSquirrel. Congratulations to her and to anyone who was nominated! Last year brought in new members of GoodBlock, who are working on exciting products this year. We can’t wait to see what this year brings to Telos! Let us know in the comments below how you feel about TLOS in 2022!

  • Milestone Report for TCD TWP #9

    The Telos Core Developers Telos Works Proposal #9 (proposal name: xheegyn5edcd) has been passed by the Telos voters and will be claimed. As part of this claim we will also present a short primer on how other Telos Works proposals can be claimed.

    This proposal was a single milestone proposal for work that had already been performed that has been in use on Telos for several months, therefore no pointers to Github commits or other evidence of new work performed is included. However, the TCD recommends including evidence of work performed in milestone reports, particularly where there are additional milestones in the proposal and/or when the proposal is to fund future work.

  • Launching T-Bonds on Telos

    Please vote on the Telos Amend ballot to create a unique DeFi product for Telos and dapps to unlock liquidity Telos has long been hampered in reaching a market capitalization similar to other comparable public blockchains and smart contract platforms despite its strong capabilities, groundbreaking developer tools, and growing adoption by dapps and users. Many suspect that the low liquidity of TLOS tokens and few exchanges that list it is perhaps the most significant factor in the current low valuation of Telos. Regardless of its effect on market cap, the low number and trading volume of the exchanges listing TLOS hampers usage and adoption. To address this, Telos needs to raise funds to both pay these exchange listing fees and in some cases to create trading liquidity pools. There are reserve funds available on Telos to accomplish this, but there’s a concern that releasing so many tokens on the open market would further depress the TLOS price and be counterproductive. In considering this problem in August, I realized that Telos is certainly not the only crypto project in this exact situation. I reasoned that in solving this problem for itself, Telos could also create a type of DeFi instrument that does not yet exist and could be particularly useful to many projects. Working with the Telos teams on many groundbreaking areas of blockchain, I realized that one option would be to sell locked tokens that would not become liquid until after the new exchange listings were released which, we hoped, would increase the value of TLOS much more than the subsequent loss — especially if the sale of the newly unlocked tokens were staggered and even more so if the growth in price created upward price momentum that lowered sale pressure overall. Of course, selling locked tokens is not particularly new, but it usually comes with a high premium to cover the lockup period. However, if the tokens could be locked up in a bond-like NFT, then those NFTs could gain instant liquidity by being sold on a secondary NFT marketplace. The idea of the T-Bond was born.
    Figure 1. By delaying the sale of tokens until after the key milestone is achieved, the token price may avoid sell-offs and appreciate more from reaching adoption, marketing or development milestones funded by the sales.
    I announced this idea and sought community feedback in the Request for Comment: RFC: Creating an Innovative New DeFi Instrument to Bring New Exchanges to Telos on August 4th, which created strongly positive results and discussion in the community. Following this, I proposed specific language that would be needed in a Telos Amend proposal on August 10th in RFC: Proposed Text for New Telos DeFi Instrument. In the meantime, I worked with Telos Core Developers (TCD) member Craig Branscom, author of the Marble NFT standard to ensure that Marble was able to support not only TLOS tokens but other Telos-based tokens as well. Craig also customized the Marble contract into a new T-Bond contract. Syed Mahdi of block producer Persian Telos graciously agreed to expedite the Marble NFT marketplace he was already building for AreaX and its upcoming galactic resource game Crypto Planets, and making adaptations needed to trade T-Bonds on it. The final piece needed will be a T-Bond sale page that the TCD or Telos Foundation will develop. The T-Bond contracts are all open source and we encourage anyone to build and release T-Bonds on Telos and to use the secondary markets or even launch their own Marble NFT marketplaces to trade them.
    Figure 2. Each T-Bond NFT has a life cycle of creation where tokens are locked up, holding/trading where they may change hands, and maturity where the locked tokens become liquid again.
    Now it is up to the Telos community to vote on whether T-Bonds will be approved. The Telos Amend ballot ‘tbonds’ will allow the Telos block producers to sell funds from the TLOS Recovery account in order to create T-Bonds needed to secure USDT, BTC or other funds needed to pay listing fees and build liquidity pools where necessary. In my opinion, not only will this help Telos, but it has the potential to build an entirely new form of Fintech market on Telos that other projects can use to secure funding or unlock their existing value into a liquid form without crashing their token price. The T-Bond ballot will only pass if it receives a vote of over 55% yes over no votes and a minimum threshold of several million staked TLOS. I hope there will be a healthy discussion of this. Naturally, I am very much for these proposals or I would not have put so much effort into this drive, but I intend to vote Abstain from my large accounts due to my close connection with the project. Users of Sqrl wallet version 1.2.3 will be able to vote on this ballot now. Version 1.2.4 will be released shortly which will make this somewhat easier. For Telos users who do not use Sqrl wallet, there will be tutorials on how to vote from the Telos Decide™ voting app at app.telos.net or via block explorers such as Bloks or EOSX. You can read more about T-Bonds in the RFCs above, and in the articles An Introduction to T-Bond NFTs and Using T-Bonds to Unlock Liquidity.
    About the author: Douglas Horn is the Telos architect and whitepaper author and a Telos core developer. He is the founder of GoodBlock, a Telos block producer and blockchain development company currently building the dStor decentralized data storage system.
  • Using T-Bonds to Unlock Liquidity

    T-Bonds are a new form of DeFi instrument that allows tokens to be locked into a non-fungible token (NFT) and sold to unlock liquidity in projects while discouraging large sell-offs. This article goes into depth about the advantages of T-Bonds for issuers and buyers and the robust financial market they can create. For a basic overview of T-Bonds, see: An Introduction to T-Bond NFTs.


    The Advantages of T-Bond NFTs

    To create value, T-Bond NFTs must present advantages to both the issuer and the buyers over current offerings. Fortunately, there are distinct advantages to all parties. This document discusses these and uses the use case of Telos system tokens TLOS to further illustrate.

    Advantages of T-Bonds to Issuers

    When a project creator releases new tokens to fund the development of a new feature or other system improvement, the traditional route of selling liquid tokens will see many of those newly released tokens sold on exchanges to quickly capture the benefit of any discount the buyers receive. While issuers may offer a smaller discount to these buyers due to the instant liquidity, they must expect that the tokens they sell will quickly lose value and may need to sell more than they otherwise would in order to reach the funding requirements needed to reach their milestone. Meanwhile the token price may drop as soon as these tokens are sold on markets, negatively affecting all token holders.

    When using T-Bonds, the dynamics change considerably in later stages. While the initial amounts sold may be considered roughly equal between approaches (the T-Bonds will offer a larger discount but not need to sell the same overage as the token sale approach for a situation that’s essentially a wash), later stages diverge significantly. Since the fungible tokens in the T-Bonds are locked in their NFTs they cannot reach liquid markets. (They will sell on secondary markets and have some impact on token price but much less than a flood of new liquid tokens.)

    Figure 1. Delaying token sales until after the milestones they enable can benefit token price

    In both cases, once the development milestone that the token sale was meant to enable is reached, there should be some expectation of improved token price resulting from improved project fundamentals. However, because the T-Bond sale does not facilitate a large drop in token value due to the market sale of many new tokens, the value increase can be expected to be more significant. When the T-Bond tokens do become liquid, there is also likely to be a drop in token value, but less severe and from a higher base level than if it had preceded the rise in token value from achieving the milestone. This evaluation does not include either the general increase in token prices across the board or the following of market trends by technical traders — both of which could be expected to further benefit the T-Bonds model over the traditional liquid token model. In short, by allowing the project to reach its milestone before the tokens sold to enable this, the token price is likely to be better supported overall.

    Using T-Bonds as a Developer

    Any project will be able to use the T-Bond NFT open source contracts to issue T-Bonds on Telos. These could be an alternative to ICOs but it also presents the unmatched ability to raise subsequent funds for projects that have raised previous rounds, without crashing their current token price.

    Consider the fictitious ABC DAO, which launched some time ago with a token sale. The liquid cash on hand for ABC DAO is exhausted and they need funds to pay developers and marketers for their next big milestone, which all believe will raise the value of the project and token. ABC DAO has reserve tokens, but if it sells them as liquid ABC tokens, the market value of ABC token is likely to drop as buyers quickly lock in profits — knowing that other buyers will also be selling their tokens quickly and creating a race condition where prices decrease. (Illustrated in Figure 2.)

    Instead, ABC DAO decides to issue T-Bonds for locked amount of ABC tokens with maturity rates of six months to ensure that their milestones will be completed and have a chance to increase the market value of the token before they are sold off. ABC DAO can eliminate the early sell-off of tokens and experiences a price increase when the new developments are released three months later. Once the T-Bonds mature at six months, there is also likely to be some sell-off of tokens, but it happens from a higher base than if it had occurred before the milestone delivery. The outcome of the milestone is no longer an unknown performance risk and ABC token’s positive price momentum is likely to have an additional halo effect on the ongoing price.

    The Telos Use Case

    The initial use of T-Bonds on Telos will be to enable the listing of TLOS tokens on several new exchanges of greater prominence than those TLOS is currently listed on, and to expand liquidity pools for these exchanges to resolve the illiquidity situation which is seen by many to be responsible for the persistent languishing of the TLOS price despite a regular stream of good news about usage, dapp adoption, and technical advancements.

    As a blockchain governed by its users, Telos must first enable these sales and allocate funds to the initiative using a Telos Amend proposal before T-Bonds can be funded. This voting requires a 29-day (5 million blocks) voting period. Provided the proposal is approved, TLOS tokens will be used from the ‘tlosrecovery’ account which holds TLOS tokens that are currently allocated only to be added to the Telos exchange reserve fund (‘exrsrv.tf’) at some point in the future. Part of the proposal limits the use of these sales to funding new exchange listings and liquidity pool participation.

    The milestone Telos is trying to reach is to be listed on more and better centralized exchanges, decentralized exchanges, and DeFi automated market makers (AMMs) such as Uniswap with ample liquidity. By using T-Bonds the Telos community can sell some of these TLOS reserves in a locked form with the intent of reaching these milestones before the tokens become liquid.

    Advantages of T-Bonds to Buyers

    T-Bond buyers receive a number of advantages. The first and most obvious is the price discount to face value for anyone who holds to maturity. Some buyers consider themselves long term holders and actually like the discipline of tokens that are not liquid and easily traded. Of course, T-Bonds will have a secondary market, which provides the advantage of giving liquidity to anyone who ultimately does decide to sell prior to maturity. Another advantage is that there is no counterparty risk that the issuer would renege on providing tokens at maturity, since they are already locked in the T-Bond.

    The traditional bond market is made up of many kinds of investors with different time horizons — from those who intend to hold for 30 years, to those that may hold just a few weeks, days or hours. Bonds allow hedging against uncertainty and speculation on future interest rates. This could also be true of T-Bonds, as the Telos case illustrates. There’s reason to believe that T-Bonds could become a strong DeFi market in their own right.

    The Telos Case

    The Telos use case for T-Bonds helps easily illustrate the value of T-Bonds for hedging against or speculating on relative interest rates because Telos also has a built-in alternative interest-bearing option: the REX resource exchange.

    Telos users may stake their TLOS to REX in order to earn rewards. These rewards come from the rental of Telos CPU and NET resources, some fees on RAM and TLOS distributed to users from the exchange reserve fund, which constitutes most of the rewards. Based on tokens allocated by the Telos Economic Development Plan (TEDP) and TEDP2, funds flow into REX staking rewards each month and are divided pro rata by all accounts staking. As a result, the REX rewards are quite high — around 15% APR at this writing and scheduled to increase as the TEDP2 increases the amount going to REX instead of block producer rewards, the Telos Foundation stipend and other uses. However, REX rewards will always be variable both because as more TLOS are staked, the rewards are shared by more stakers, and because the Telos voters have the power to revise the token allocations or even eliminate them any time in the future based on the outcome of a Telos Amend proposal.

    Example: Consider a TLOS buyer, Arun, who wants to buy TLOS tokens and stake them to REX for rewards. At the current price of about 2 cents per TLOS, Arun could buy 83,334 TLOS for $1,666.67 and stake them to REX with the intent of having 100,000 TLOS at the end of a year if the REX yield is a consistent 20% APR over that period. If REX rewards are actually, higher, Arun could do even better, but if they are lower, then he would have less at the end of the year. For example, if REX only averages 16% APR then he would have 96,667 TLOS.

    Figure 2. When alternatives like REX provide static yields, it is easy to compare them to T-Bonds.

    Betty also wants to end up with 100,000 TLOS in one year. Instead of liquid tokens, Betty buys a T-Bond NFT with a face value of 100,000 TLOS and a maturity date of one year from the purchase date. The T-Bond has a cost of $1,666.67 based on 2 cents per TLOS, giving an effective discount of 16.67% (equivalent to a 20% APR).

    Betty knows that her T-Bond will yield exactly the 100,000 TLOS face value on its maturity date because these TLOS tokens are locked up by the T-Bond. She cannot receive any more or less if the Telos REX yield changes over that period of time. Betty also does not get the benefit of being able to vote with her T-Bond as Arun has with his TLOS staked to REX.

    T-Bond yield compared to static REX rewards

    Now consider what happens if Betty wants to sell her T-Bond after just six months instead of holding to the maturity date. She can list it for sale on a secondary market, like the AreaX NFT Market that is expected to be live for trading all Marble NFT-standard tokens (which include T-Bonds) by the Telos T-Bond launch date.

    Figure 3. When selling an existing T-Bond, the yield of alternatives, like REX, determines the price.

    Carlos is an investor who wants 100,000 TLOS in six months and has two alternatives: he could either buy liquid tokens and stake them to REX or purchase Betty’s T-Bond and hold it to maturity in six months. Assuming that the REX yield has been a steady 20% APR over the past six months and seems likely to continue the trend in the future, the present value of 100,000 TLOS six months in the future is essentially the same via either method except for the value of lost of voting rights over that period. Some value will be assigned to this by the market, and for these examples, 2.5% APR or around 0.2% per month will be used.

    Arun’s tokens staked to REX at 20% APR for the past six months have earned about 1.53% of their value in rewards each month and are now worth 91,287 TLOS. Betty’s T-Bond had the same rate of appreciation as it neared maturity, but a small discount must be made for the lack of voting rights, if she were to sell today — perhaps 200 TLOS per month (the actual rate will be determined by the market.). Six months would discount the value of the NFT by 1,200 TLOS from its present value. Carlos and Betty could make a trade for 90,087 TLOS giving Betty an effective yield of ~17.6% APR for six months and Carlos an effective yield of ~23.2% APR if he holds it until the maturity date.

    T-Bond yield compared to variable REX rewards

    REX staking rewards, however, are certain to change over the course of a year because of the number of people staking and the number of tokens that the Telos voters decide to dedicate to rewards. To illustrate this, consider an extreme case where halfway to the maturity date of Betty’s T-Bond, the Telos voters decide to eliminate REX staking rewards. At this point, Arun’s staked tokens no longer earn any new rewards. The value of his tokens in another six months will be the same as they are currently. In other words, the present cost/value of owning 100,000 TLOS six months in the future is also 100,000 TLOS since there is a 0% APR on REX staking now.

    Betty’s T-Bond six months in the future will be worth 100,000 TLOS. In the previous scenario, she couldn’t expect to sell her T-Bond for more than the 91,287 TLOS that Carlos could have instead staked to REX to receive 100,000 TLOS in that time. In fact, there was also a discount required because the T-Bond TLOS could not be voted. However, with no better alternative, the present value of Betty’s T-Bond is now 100,000 TLOS minus the voting discount. To Carlos a reasonable market value for Betty’s T-Bond is 98,800 TLOS because it is still a discount that pays him an effective interest rate of ~2.5% APR for the six months he holds the T-Bond to its maturity date.

    Figure 4. If the yield of alternatives decreases, the value of the bond increases.

    In this scenario, Betty has decided to sell the T-Bond for a market value of 98,800 TLOS which yields her an effective return of ~37% APR over six months. Carlos buys the T-Bond because voting is not important to him and he can gain a certain 2.5% APR for six months over what it would cost to buy liquid TLOS at their present value and 0% rewards from REX. Both are making sound financial decisions given the present conditions.

    T-Bond values contribute value to a secondary market because of the fluctuations between their fixed rate of return and the fluctuating rates of return for competitive options. When there is another alternative with a steady rate of return, the T-Bond will gain market value at a predictable rate as it nears its maturity date. Any discount a subsequent buyer would pay could be easily calculated by comparing it to the present value of the best-paying alternative of equal risk, such as REX staking rewards.

    When the alternative is variable, however, the current market value of a T-Bond rises if the alternative yield goes down or falls if the alternative method’s yield increases. The current market value of a T-Bond that pays an effective rate of 20% APR will lose value if REX rewards rise to 25%.

    Figure 5. T-Bond value as a function of competing yield rates.

    This ability for T-Bond market values to change based on the yield of alternatives such as REX make it possible to make speculative gains (or losses) on the T-Bonds as more potentially profitable financial tools. Anyone buying a T-Bond is essentially betting that the REX rewards will drop to a lower value, or else they would be wiser to hold those TLOS in REX and earn a higher yield. As conditions change, other traders may have different opinions about REX staking rewards relative to T-Bonds. This can drive a healthy secondary market.

    The T-Bond Secondary Market

    The T-Bond secondary market provides an additional level of financial tools for traders and investors. Where traditional crypto exchanges only trade on the current price action of different tokens relative to each other, T-Bond NFTs allow future rates of return to be traded as well, either against the same token or different tokens. As more projects issue tokens using the T-Bond NFT open source contracts on Telos, these NFTs can even trade directly against one another for more complex DeFi transactions. Future developments are expected to include maturity conditions other than a simple date, allowing T-Bonds NFTs to unlock their fungible tokens when a certain condition is reported by an on-chain oracle. This could be another token reaching a specific price or a milestone delivery being accepted by a project’s users. It’s also expected that future derivative projects will themselves be bundles of T-Bond NFTs.

    T-Bonds are built on the Marble NFT standard which includes the ability to lock up fungible tokens on Telos until a maturity condition occurs. Any NFT marketplace that supports Marble NFTs can be used to trade T-Bonds on the secondary market. The AreaX NFT Market built by the block producer Persian Telos will be the first such marketplace but more are expected as T-Bonds become more accepted. The AreaX NFT Market allows non-custodial escrow of NFTs where owners list them for sale and purchasers make offers, temporarily locking tokens as an offer that can be withdrawn by the buyer at any time. If the NFT seller accepts an open offer, the purchased NFT is transferred directly to the buyer in a swap for the offered fee. This ensures safety for all buyer and seller assets with an easy trading experience.


    About the author: Douglas Horn is the Telos architect and whitepaper author and a Telos core developer. He is the founder of GoodBlock, a Telos block producer and blockchain development company currently building the dStor decentralized data storage system.

  • An Introduction to T-Bond NFTs

    A novel DeFi instrument on Telos for unlocking liquidity

    Overview

    T-Bonds are a new innovation in decentralized finance (DeFi) that allows tokens to be locked into a transferable non-fungible token (NFT) that can be traded on a secondary market. They are in many ways analogous to a US Treasury Bond aka “T-Bill”. The T-Bond NFT holds other fungible tokens with an economic or currency value until a condition is met (typically a time in the future) that brings the tokens to maturity, which point the fungible tokens locked within the T-Bond are made liquid and released to whatever account is the current owner of the T-Bond. T-Bonds are sold by their issuer to an initial buyer for another currency at a discount to face value to compensate the issuer for its illiquid nature. Like with T-Bills, the owner of a T-Bond can trade it to subsequent buyers on a secondary market which provides ongoing liquidity to holders. The T-Bond concept was first introduced in RFC: Creating an Innovative New DeFi Instrument to Bring New Exchanges to Telos.

    The T-Bond Lifecycle

    A T-Bond has a set lifecycle with three periods: Creation, Hold/Trade and Maturity.

    Figure 1. T-Bond NFTs can be traded many times between creation and maturity.

    Creation Period

    A T-Bond NFT is created by its issuer (a company, DAO or other entity) by issuing a T-Bond NFT that has a fixed maturity condition (when the condition is a fixed point in time, which is typical, this may be called the maturity date) locking tokens equal to the face value of the T-Bond within the token until the maturity condition is satisfied — in the case of a maturity date, this will be the date arriving. T-Bonds may be created in advance or on-demand upon purchase by the initial buyer. The difference between the face value and the purchase price is known as the discount.

    Hold/Trade Period

    From creation until the maturity, the T-Bond NFT may be traded on any NFT marketplace that supports its standard. (The initial implementation of T-Bonds is on Telos using the Marble NFT standard.) The current owner of the NFT has total control of its transfer.

    Like any bond, the valuation of any given T-Bond NFT will be a function of its face value related to its expected time to reach the maturity condition/date which is expressed as a discount offered to the new buyer by the present owner. Trades may continue for any period of time until the maturity period is reached.

    Maturity Period

    Once a maturity date or other maturity condition is reached, the current owner of the T-Bond NFT may claim the tokens locked within, turning them into liquid tokens and destroying the T-Bond.

    Using T-Bonds

    T-Bonds can be used by an issuer of fungible tokens. They serve a very specific utility in that fungible tokens may sold in a locked form that cannot be unlocked, divided, or used for any other utility purpose, but may be sold on secondary markets to provide liquidity to owners.

    T-Bonds provide a unique advantage to any project seeking to raise initial or later-round funds in that tokens may be sold but not used until the maturity condition arrives. A date in time will be a common maturity condition, but the launch of a token mainnet or specific feature could just as easily be the maturity condition. This allows any project to raise funds without allowing those funds to be accessible until a particular condition is satisfied (verified by an oracle determined at creation). Therefore, a DAO may issue funds in the form of tokens (that may also be Telos Decide™ voting tokens) that do not become available for use until a particular condition exists — a time or the launch of a feature or similar. This helps projects reach for particular milestones and allow supporters to purchase discounted tokens that will be unlocked at the completion of that time/milestone. This is extraordinarily powerful for any project seeking funding based on future technological achievements.

    Unlocking Liquidity with T-Bonds

    T-Bonds address a common problem in unlocking liquidity for technical projects. When a project seeks to unlock some of its liquidity, it does not want to create a condition where it’s tokens can be instantly sold on a broad market. Often, fundraising occurs to enable specific goals such as meeting a technical milestone, expanding liquidity to new pools and markets, or similar. However, if tokens sold through this fundraising are instantly available on common markets, then there is the opportunity for buyers to immediately capitalize on any discount they received by selling all tokens. This undermines the goals of the initial token sale.

    Typically, a project will sell tokens from its reserve with the expectation that the new improvements (additional exchange listings, partnerships or feature development) will create greater value in the project overall. However, there is usually a time lag between token sale and full execution, which is undermined by instant sales. By locking fungible tokens into a T-Bond NFT, the issuer can ensure that time may pass between its sale and the end-buyer’s sale before these tokens can be sold on common markets and depress the price of the token. Within that time lag, projects may execute their intended actions with the expectation that these actions will increase the value of the project/token overall. When this happens, every participant wins.

    T-Bonds Initial Use

    T-Bonds will initially be used by Telos to unlock liquidity by selling tokens from its unallocated pool in the account ‘tlosrecovery’ reflecting accounts given to EOS genesis token holders that never used these tokens within 54 weeks of distribution and therefore surrendered ownership of them, per the Telos Blockchain Network Operating Agreement. In accordance with the Telos Amend proposal ‘tbonds’, if accepted by a majority of Telos voters, these tokens will provide a pool of funds, sold for harder currency by the elected Telos block producers at any given time, to provide harder funds needed to expand the listings of TLOS tokens on additional exchanges and liquidity pools for these exchanges. It’s expected that other projects are likely to take advantage of this novel funding mechanism, and therefore, all code is offered on an open-source basis to facilitate broad usage of the T-Bond standard on Telos.

    T-Bond Specifics

    This initial implementation of T-Bonds is on the Telos Blockchain, using the Marble NFT standard, issued by the Telos elected block producers on behalf of the chain and sold through the AreaX NFT Marketplace as its secondary market. An online purchase site for newly issued T-Bonds will be created as well prior to launching the service.

    Are T-Bonds a Security?

    Crucial to the concept of T-Bonds is that all fungible tokens locked by the T-Bond NFT are transferred entirely into the control of the purchaser, except for their locking condition, which is controlled by the T-Bond NFT smart contract. Where a T-Bill or other bond is a promise to pay by the issuer at a future date, and dependent on the future execution of the issuer, a T-Bond NFT vests all ownership and control with whoever holds the NFT and does not rely on any other party to fulfill a promise to pay. Therefore, a T-Bond NFT is non-custodial and there seems to be no reason T-Bonds should be considered a security. The initial sale of a T-Bond is simply the sale of time-locked tokens. The T-Bond NFT does not add anything substantial other than the convenience of allowing future trade or transfer of these locked tokens. Time-locked tokens have never previously been deemed a security. T-Bonds in the form envisioned here neither pay interest nor confer any governance rights. They are a fixed amount of tokens sold at a discount. A T-Bond is a “bond” in name only and solely because this helps convey its function to a much more common financial instrument.

    Ultimately, only a securities regulatory body or a court can ultimately rule as to the status of this type of instrument and whether it is a security, commodity or some other classification. T-Bonds do not fit the description of a financial security as described in the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s “Section 21(a) Letter” of July 25, 2017. The author has not obtained a legal opinion regarding T-Bonds directly, however the Telos Foundation has obtained a legal letter from a respected attorney specializing in cryptocurrency, Josh Lawler of the firm Zuber Lawler specifying that TLOS tokens would not be considered a security under current SEC guidelines. Anyone considering issuing or buying T-Bongs should research the matter to their satisfaction. This article is a description of the concept of T-Bonds and not an offer to buy or sell anything.

    More information about the usage of T-Bonds is available in the article: Using T-Bonds to Unlock Liquidity.


    Glossary

    Issuer ………. The entity that creates any given T-Bond NFT, locking tokens with them and setting the maturity condition/date.

    Face Value ………. The amount of a specific token that is locked by a T-Bond smart contract and will become liquid when that maturity condition/date of that T-Bond NFT is satisfied. Also referred to as par value in traditional bonds.

    Maturity Date ………. The specific time and date at which the fungible tokens held within a T-Bond NFT become liquid.

    Maturity Condition ………. The specific condition (if not time) and associated oracle reporting on that condition that determines when the fungible tokens controlled by a T-Bond NFT become liquid.

    Discount ………. The difference between the face value of a given T-Bond NFT and the price paid for it by either the initial buyer or a subsequent purchaser.

    Initial Buyer ………. A person or entity that buys a T-Bond NFT directly from the issuer.

    Subsequent Buyer ………. Any buyer subsequent to the initial purchaser of the T-Bond NFT.

    Secondary Market ………. Any marketplace enabling the sale and purchase of a T-Bond NFT following its initial purchase from the issuer.


    About the author: Douglas Horn is the Telos architect and whitepaper author and a Telos core developer. He is the founder of GoodBlock, a Telos block producer and blockchain development company currently building the dStor decentralized data storage system.