Oct 19th, 2020
Ever thought of how Blockchain projects run its product and community at the same time? Must be a hard job even to think about it. Maybe Statera Community Member, also CEO of xBTC, Mark Sgambelluri will be able to tell how he manages both jobs and strikes a balance.
On our 8th AMA, we have invited the multitalented Mark Sgambelluri, to discuss with us both his daily job to reinvent synthetic assets through rebasing at xBTC, while being a strong community advocate for decentralized, autonomous, and asset based cryptocurrencies like the Statera project.
Guest of the night, Mark Sgambelluri, Statera Community Member (https://stateratoken.com/)
Mark is the CEO of xBTC and an avid digital asset evangelist. He has been a strong supporter in the Statera community and provided much of the structure and content for the Statera Whitepaper and community content. He has consulted with multiple other projects on their litepapers and whitepapers, supporting projects on their journey from half a million to 30 million in market cap. Though his “day job” is reinventing synthetic assets through rebasing at xBTC, he continues to be a strong community advocate for decentralized, autonomous, and asset based cryptocurrencies like Statera.
Host of the night, Kiana Shek, DigiFinex CXO
Previously working for Baidu as Assistant General Manager, Kiana has had advanced education in the financial field, also obtaining a rich background in Big data, AI, international businesses. In 2017, she founded DigiFinex as a Co-Founder, and dedicated to provide a safer, convenient, transparent digital asset exchange platform for the people. She is also responsible for promoting brand values globally on behalf of DigiFinex, and actively takes part in various Blockchain summits around the world.
Below is a highlight of our Live Session:
# Mark’s Personal interview
Kiana: Hello Mark, thank you so much for guesting at DigiFinex’s 8th AMA. You may first greet our global audience and briefly introduce yourself!
Mark: Hi all, I was an early supporter of Statera near it’s beginning. I was a community member who supported a lot in the communication and project design. I wrote a lot of the whitepaper and helped with some of the vision for what Statera would be.
Kiana: So Mark, not only you’re a community member of STA, you’re also the CEO of xBTC. Could you tell us the stories behind your path into the cryptocurrency industry as well as joining STA?
Mark: Yes I first started using digital assets in 2011, I spent many years as an evangelist and investor in digital assets. Just this year I started digging deeper into projects and have supported about half a dozen at this point. I have helped them with community management, product design, lite papers and white papers. I met some incredible people through Statera and we went on to found xBTC, a rebasing synthetic like asset. My story is really one that can only happen somewhere like digital assets, going from being a fan to founder in one year. Statera was one of the most incredible small cap coins I came across it’s concept of being a deflationary asset and deflationary index funds is truly revolutionary and only possible in crypto.
Kiana: From April till now, DeFi’s total market value has soared from US$1 billion to more than US$10 billion, its extremely fast growth rate and colossal room for business development have attracted great attention from the market. What is your point of view on DeFi? Do you think DeFi will be the centre of change in the financial industry in the future?
Mark: DeFi is definitely an incredible space in Crypto. In traditional economies you see finance taking a large share of economic output, so it was inevitable that decentralized finance would be a large mover in digital assets. We do think it will become even larger, if you look at our pools the passive income they make are all fees you get paid for being a market maker (holding Statera funds you basically become Coinbase or Binance). What you are seeing is finance being given back to the people and the benefits of financial systems being shared more equally with users, the only reason the 5-15% returns you see on most defi products seem ridiculous is because traditional finance has led us to believe .25% returns on a savings account is reasonable.
I think an asset class like “deflationary index funds” and more broadly “deflationary assets” provides an important counter-narrative and counterbalance to the rampant inflation we see in the world. An immutable, global, deflationary asset could bring a lot of value if used widely. This could only exist in decentralized finance.
# About Statera Token
Kiana: Well thank you for your sharing Mark, let us come back to today’s topic, the project STA itself.
STA is a DeFi project completely driven by the community. It does not have a conventional management system, so there is no such executive role as CEO. Many users, including me, are quite curious about this, and because STA is a project governed by the community, so who is the founder of STA? What was the original intention of establishing STA?
Mark: Our team is about 4,400 people strong right now (that’s how many holders we have currently)… we are a fully decentralized project and we don’t have an official team, we are all community members working to spread Statera. The contract is fully released and immutable (also third party audited). The founding team has a lot of experience in the space and have started/ been the CEO of other projects. We are focused on being a decentralized cryptocurrency now though, taking on all the positive attributes of being decentralized. When you look at an asset like Bitcoin a lot of its power comes from how decentralized it is, this is a very powerful trait for an asset like Statera. Even if the whole core team stopped working on the project Statera would continue on forever. It was founded by a strong dev in the space who has other projects and leadership roles, but the founder is really beside the point, as they have no control over the token anymore.
Kiana: Can you tell us about the economic model of the STA project (including its burn and repurchase plan) and business targets?
Mark: The goal is to be decentralized, as such all tokens are released, the developer wallet holds less than 3% of supply and isn’t even the biggest holder of tokens. The goal is to continue on as a decentralized and distributed token, no one holds more than 4% of supply. That supply is constantly reducing, every time STA is sent, bought, or sold 1% of that transaction value is destroyed forever. It is immutably deflationary. The supply started at over 100 million and is now down to 85 million. This deflation stands in contrast to the inflation of Bitcoin and can be seen as a deflationary Bitcoin.
Kiana: Alright, you have mentioned a smart contract powered Indexed Deflationary Token (IDT) of STA, but currently many tokens are closely following the deflation strategy. So, what do you think is the difference between STA’s deflation strategy and the rest?
Mark: STA has the goal of becoming a deflationary asset in and of itself, no other deflationary token has the same vision to become a global immutable deflationary currency. To do this STA is providing collateral, use case, and value add in liquidity pools, which act like a small form of index funds (holding 2-5 assets each). By building a value through this use (the deflation and structure of the tokenomics makes for added volume which means more passive income for pool holders) it can establish an agreed upon value that can allow it to become a store and transfer of value: a deflationary currency or asset. A lot of tokens use deflation as a gimmick or fun mechanism, STA is seeking to become a world class and widely accepted asset.
Kiana: Can you tell us about the composition of STA community members? Are there any rules or principles for STA’s community autonomy?
Mark: Not really, anyone can join the team and many continue to move on and off the team. Anyone who has skills can support the community. Usually people are asked to join the core team after contributing to the project in one way or another: coding something, doing some marketing, etc. Also anyone can take on leading for the project, you could literally start a Statera Facebook team or Statera India team, the core team is just a couple of individuals who decided to help out. Anyone can take and use STA anywhere, it is an immutable deflationary token, no one controls it or owns it. The current team has some incredible marketers, designers, coders, and more.
Kiana: Do you have any competitors of the same type? Compared with other DeFi projects, what advantages does STA have that could stand out?
Mark: We currently don’t have any direct competitors. We had one direct competitor but they have shifted models. We have some edge competitors but they are focused on the social and trading outcomes of deflation, gimmicky set ups, or empty copies… none of them have the vision we do. There are currently no other indexed deflationary tokens on the market with immutable deflation that never changes and that are open to being used anywhere in any use case. We are also positioning ourselves more broadly to be a finance focused deflationary token. Deflation has some very powerful economic outcomes that we want to see play out globally and in cryptocurrency. We have the first mover and network effect advantages in this respect. We are also highly decentralized and our wallet holders are highly spread out (rather than one holder having 50% of funds). So overall we think we are positioned to lead the way in being a deflationary asset leader.
Kiana: Has there been any difficulties encountered? If yes, how did you solve them?
Mark: We had a huge set back in June. An exchange we were on was exploited and our entire fund, $500,000 USD was drained. We worked with the exchange to refund all of our users who were affected. Everyone was actually refunded over $1.5 million USD because we refunded the token amounts rather than dollar amounts. It would be very hard to find a project that is as decentralized and as small as STA that has helped facilitate a $1.5 million refund to users. This shows how serious the project is and how dedicated we are to the long term vision and goals. While many projects these days are pulling rugs or running away, we are doing the exact opposite and giving back to users. STA also bounced back from the exploit and upgraded the security of the ecosystem to make it safer than ever and be unexploitable.
Kiana: I believe that STA’s community governance experience has acted as an intelligent reference for the construction of DeFi ecology. For the future of STA, what do you look forward to or excite you most?
Mark: I really look forward to the community continuing to step up and lead the way. There were times where I was a real leader in the community, before me there were others, and after me there were others. This ebb and flow of who is doing most of the leading has been really cool to see. Each new iteration of minds has new ideas and evolves the ecosystem one step forward. I am excited at all we accomplished in the past but even more excited at the future. We are excited to see STA integrated into more ecosystems and to spread more widely becoming THE leading deflationary asset in the world. Facilitating deflationary loans, deflationary NFTs, deflationary savings accounts, etc. Deflation can be injected into any financial instrument through STA.
Kiana: Coming to the last question. At present, most investors in the market tend to value the price of Token to a larger extent, so marketing takes more weight in the development of the project. Do you have any marketing strategies for Statera? Including past, present and future?
Mark: Yeah we have definitely had our highs and lows, now is a great time to be looking at STA. We have made it through a lot and really proven the legitimacy and staying power of the token. We have been featured by the biggest YouTubers and some that don’t even get along with each other. They have continued to mention us in positive terms and speak highly of our team and community. Crypto Twitter and Youtube have a soft spot for our decentralized and community driven set up. We will continue to push marketing and spread to as many people as possible. The sky is really the limit, all it takes is one ad exec getting interested in STA and with our decentralized nature they can put us on a billboard or buy a TV ad. We have some plans and a tentative roadmap, but that’s the beauty of this project, it is power in numbers and our community has done things that are much cooler and more powerful than anything the core team could’ve done alone. Our main marketing is to continue to engage and support our decentralized community. We might have some really big and exciting news coming on how we plan to decentralize our holdings even more!
What an inspiring AMA live we had with Mark! It was surely a busy job for Mark but with all that determination and faith in the Blockchain industry and positive sentiment, we could tell it was a business that worths time to invest in. Wishing all the best to STA token, and remember, you can always look up and trade them on DigiFinex too!
Statera (STA) is a smart contract powered Indexed Deflationary Token (IDT), which synergizes with an independent and community driven portfolio of class-leading cryptocurrencies. Every trade for Statera creates an arbitrage opportunity. Trading attracts liquidity, which in-turn attracts trading. Liquidity ripples and the supply of Statera decreases.
To watch the AMA Live: AMA | DeFi in advocating Community Autonomy
Sources: Statera Token