As the new CEO of Giving To Services, I wanted to provide an update of where we are currently but crucially where we are going as a passionate team in an uncertain, volatile market.
Building a credible, stable digital asset is incredibly difficult. We have all witnessed some of the biggest exchanges losing funds via malicious attacks and top projects wiping out user’s money to the tune of billions of dollars virtually overnight without any financial or legal recourse.
However, despite individual bias on how the current market is being perceived, I and the team believe in the utility of cryptocurrencies. The ability to change lives for the better in a regulated and protected environment. Banks insure fiat funds held in their custody, so digital projects should be able to provide that same level of protection. It’s my intention to provide this protection for our shareholders.
I prefer the term shareholders to ‘token holders’ because I believe everyone who holds SVS needs to be treated as an investor. This includes; regular updates, communication and participation in our journey. Our communication has improved drastically since making key changes, but there is room for improvement, so I, on behalf of the team, am making the commitment to our shareholders that we will be a lot more vocal around our current working schedule and vision, as well as what discussions (where commercially possible) we are having at the moment.
So, where do we see the overall market at the moment? A longer time frame is the right lens to look at the market I believe. Bear markets come and go, this is another cycle, one of many we have seen and I see no reason for concern. However, what I do see is recurring evidence for regulation and protection for retail users. Prices go up and down in volatile markets, that’s normal for this space, but what we can’t have are unprotected markets where projects aren’t required to have protections in place to prevent large scale losses that aren’t recoverable by market conditions and time.
Additionally we have seen the strain on some of the mass token networks like Ethereum and Solana, longer transaction times and particular to ERC20, extreme fluctuation in transaction costs due to spiking Gas fees which either make sending funds inefficient or financially not viable. It shouldn’t cost $200 to send crypto. Blockchain is designed to free people financially, so there is work to be done.
ERC20 does restrict us as an organisation in a lot of ways. It restricts our scalability and ability to have a direct positive impact to the people we are trying to reach, whilst having a degree of uncertainty about the future of the Ethereum chain. Highlighting a few of these problems;
Compare this to chains like Ripple’s XRPL which don’t suffer from these issues and in comparison exist to enable this functionality.
I believe partnerships are absolutely vital to scale, not only regulatory but infrastructure partners that we bring our solution to and in return our partners enable us to thrive.
Our functionality for the platform is going to be a world’s first and revolutionise charitable giving, which is actually broken at the moment. In our opinion many charities are being run as businesses with large 6/7 figure salaries which results in some cases only 60% of donations actually ending up with the intended recipients. $10 donated by ordinary people like us results in $6 being received. Blockchain solves this, but isn’t being utilised.
By enhancing our current platform with additional features, we’ll provide a very real solution to the problem, and SVS will be at the heart of everything providing liquidity. Every function of the platform will have a flow through SVS.
Below are some additional features within the existing platform environment to be implemented:
Right now, people are fleeing their homes from war with two things in their hands, their children and their phones. Donations are sent into charities raising funds to help, but often it's late, not in full and in some cases focuses on one location, i.e. helping people as they cross a border, but you can’t expect people to stay in one location and thrive. Instant AID allows donations to utilise the power of blockchain and can deliver charitable donations direct to peoples smart phones in a verified and secure way which allows people to move beyond an aid station, it allows them to be in control of donations made to them, it enables humane giving.
Often people needing aid don’t have their identification documents to hand, so we will integrate with Apple & Google Pay to verify users requesting aid, as well as additional auto- mated location checks to limit malicious requests and/or from countries under embargo.
Advanced Identifiable Disasters - An internal engine that identifies and allows our platform to process charitable giving before it’s likely needed. We have all seen devastating storms rip through populated areas, those are nearly always identified in advance and people warned to leave the area. After the natural disaster occurs government aid tends to follow. Afterwards. We believe people have a better chance of thriving beyond these events if we can enable their survival before they have opportunities taken out of their hands. Anything the world can predict is going to have a considerable impact whether that be a virus or an extreme weather event, we will help.
This is probably the single biggest hurdle for mass adoption. Those who aren’t ‘in’ crypto- currency but want to make that leap nearly always ask the same question; ‘How do I move money from my bank into a cryptocurrency? How do I buy it?’ Traditional (fiat) regulators and the banks, globally, need education but also assurance that allowing people to buy cryptocurrencies is a positive thing. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple Labs makes a very clear point on this, the lack of regulation is hurting new and existing investors. I believe Brad’s approach to regulation is key to join the fiat and crypto markets together. Blockchain exists to empower everybody and allow those who have no wealth, to create it in a safe, regulated and protected environment.
Once the banks adopt the same mindset it opens up a competitive market for fiat on and off ramps enabling others to follow Ripple’s example.
Currency exchange in any format is a lucrative business. The current forex market is worth
$2quadrillion USD with $6trillion USD daily volume. Retail users should be able to ex- change USD into crypto, then into a fiat currency of their choice without losing a sizeable % in fees and price differences impacted by transaction latency. If the market swings against you whilst a transaction is queued you could lose money through no fault of your own.
Crypto will be volatile for the foreseeable future, so chains that can execute transactions in less than 10 seconds consistently will thrive.
The team, thankfully, had minimal exposure to the terra crash recently but it immediately focused us on stable coin pairings. We will release details soon once we have a fully detailed analysis, but we are considering fixed staking % from 10% - 20% that is fully pro- tected against any de-pegging a stable coin might suffer from.
Again, crypto must and can do better than traditional fiat interest based products. If an ISA product in the UK or a high yield savings account in the US is offering between 1.5-2.5% pa in a regulated and protected environment, then we (the cryptocurrency space) needs to be out performing this at every stage. Faster, more secure with easy forecasting.
The past few months have been challenging for everyone within the space, shareholders, projects and businesses. As we built towards completing our Q2 roadmap objectives, a lot of flags started to be raised in the broader market, particularly around sustainability, compliance and future proofing. We have presented our platform to Ripple and my vision for our future functionality, the added functionality really only excels on XRPL.
So how do we benefit from switching to XRP Ledger.
By choosing Ripple and XRPL as our chain we enable Giving To Services and by extension, our shareholders to thrive. It was clear to me and the team from the first day of looking at this opportunity and we were faced with a very clear decision to make.
Do we forge on with ERC20 roadmap plans for Q2 and beyond, knowing full well that we are hamstringing our shareholders and SVS’s ability to thrive, or do we take innovative action and show the bravery the people we support show every day?
I couldn’t in good faith hold a quarterly shareholders update with everyone and say, yes; ERC20 is our future and it’s the best possible solution. Because it just isn’t. The recent changes in the market and the fluctuation ERC20 has suffered with, kept us awake at night. What if we processed a large charitable donation and the on-chain transaction times rocketed because of a NFT project which in turn affects gas costs, it could potentially fail causing reputational damage and dramatically reduced help for the very people we are trying to make a difference to.
I believe everyone involved in Giving To Services, whether that's shareholders or the team, have a voice. A right to vote on key decisions and to nominate proposals. That’s why we will include governance voting within the build on XRPL. Jens, Gaz and I have been very pro-governance from the start, this switch will give all shareholders a say in GTS future, and on XRPL the cost of voting will be virtually eliminated, thanks to the incredibly low and stable transaction fees.
Switching to XRPL from ERC20 is a huge decision and one that hasn’t been taken lightly. The benefits are clear, from reduced fees for everyone right through to our scalability ena- bled by Ripple’s XRPL, but it will also raise some questions.
If ERC20 is a problem for GTS scalability now, why wasn’t this highlighted before?
Building on ERC20 was the standard chain most devs built on, it’s great but as we saw with SVCS and the need to switch to SVS for the platform staking it can have its restrictions. I’m personally a huge fan of Ripple Labs and everything they bring to this space. When we started the app build and added functionality it became clear staying on ERC20 would need a trade off between building a world class platform that had all the functions we wanted or increasing the costs for the users which in turn would reduce our ability for charitable giving.
We did consider other chains and while there are quick networks operating today, no one gives us the complete package like Ripple’s XRPL.
If we are switching chains, how do we get our XRPL version of SVS?
Those on the platform will have their switch to SVS (XRPL) done automatically. For those on the exchanges we will work with the teams to make sure that switch is done seamlessly too. There will also be an in-app function for those not staking to swap their tokens easily.
When is the switch happening and where are we with the current roadmap?
When we got the opportunity to switch chains and build our platform on XRPL we had a very hard decision to make as a team. Not whether to switch chains, that part is and was incredibly easy and clear, whether you have been in crypto for a week or since the beginning it’s obvious what an opportunity this is for everyone. The hard part was in-fact not informing the shareholders immediately about our intentions. This was to protect commercially sensitive discussions, the dev ops and we also wanted certain agreements in place before we announced it formally which has taken longer than desired.
The dev and sys ops have already started work on the switch and build. Thankfully some of the benign infrastructure can be utilised on XRPL, but this is going to be a full rebuild on XRPL. It’s a big task, we anticipate the build, testing (both user and security) ready for launch within 12-15 weeks.
However, and this isn’t a big ‘but’, but we have felt the effects of the global situation over the past 12 months, more so in the recent months with the war in Ukraine which affect- ed some of the teams we work with. Communication is key to shareholders, but not so frequent that the team get bogged down with FAQs daily and can't do their roles, being a
small team means we have to find that balance. So I’m proposing a fortnightly update from the team that details where we are and what we intend to do and achieve during those 14 days and then a review and follow on a fortnight after.
I’m hoping this approach will achieve two things;
Will this be good for exchange listings?
I quickly became aware of how difficult it can be working with exchanges for a listing. Some regulation stacks up, some doesn’t, some users want DEX, others don’t, and some exchanges play the numbers game to allow their exchange to rank higher than others. For me, this is frustrating and one of the many areas regulation should help eliminate. Listings are incredibly expensive, with no guarantees of assistance and/or traction.
We have been in talks with a lot of exchanges and we have a list that, provided we pay a fee, we can list with tomorrow. The challenge we have at the moment is planning exchange listings for the launch of SVS on XRPL, i.e. the day we switch. There are a number of trust- ed exchanges I wanted us to trade on to improve our liquidity. Binance, Crypto.com and Coinbase to name a few. It’s down to us to make sure these exchanges know SVS has real utility, which is one of the questions Coinbase recently raised to us.
We will also have an exchange ability within our app build on XRPL, which will have an API out to the likes of Coingecko etc to reflect price and volume.
Will this affect the price?
I’m biased, the whole team is. When we speak about our mission to give back and help others, when we see the impact our donations make, it’s infectious, I believe our market- cap at the moment is incredibly low. I also think it’s outrageous that we are the world’s No1 charitable staking platform with such a low marketcap. Blockchain is designed to enable financial freedom yet hardly anyone is giving back.
The lens to look through this question I think, is one of opportunity. I don't shill SVS, the concept and current platform does that all on its own. However, in a overcrowded unregulated market we are faced with a who shouts loudest, wins today. I believe utility and regulation will be the ultimate winners. But how does that help us as an organisation and our shareholders right now? We have Crowdcreate as our partner of choice for marketing, they have our budget in their accounts and know about our intention to switch chains to XRPL. We are building a passionate community and the team and I will be making more appearances at physical events to build on the foundations we have in place.
My approach of more frequent updates alongside insights into the current technical build together with word of mouth on socials from our current share holders can have a dramatic impact on our price and volume.
The team will never give out financial advice, and no one should buy any crypto as a store of value they can’t afford. Crypto should be used, as SVS is going to be utilised. That’s the real driver in value.
How long will this take to build?
So, there are two aspects of this. One I can detail in full, the other is probably an answer you would expect from a politician but it does have a genuine reason behind it so lets do that first;
We have already started aspects of the build, one of the restrictions around a definitive launch date is commercially sensitive at the moment. We are building very strategic partnerships, who have their own frameworks so we must respect those relationships.
Easier side now; Our current platform took c9-12months to build (depending on where you take the start point from) this build is much quicker, c12-15weeks. The speed of this build, despite added functionality is due to our devs and sys ops experience building the existing platform and hiring in additional devs with XRPL experience to work follow the sun shifts (i.e. 24hrs a day thanks to a global team). We would look to launch quickly after that, but we need to be commercially minded too in order to maximise the launch.
One point on our Certik audit, we will be including them in our XRPL build along the way to ensure we keep our accreditation.
Any other partnerships on the horizon?
I’m very clear in my direction to the team, we scale best with the right partners. Ripple Labs are the gold standard for me, they epitomise everything we should aspire to emulate. Ripple’s rise to be the most dominant regulated digital asset in the world has been incredible and was enabled by partnerships. It’s actually why I committed Giving To Services to the Crypto Climate Accord, because of Ripple’s involvement, same for the World Economic Forum. I’m hopeful it’s clear the direction the team and I are driving towards; long term, regulated sustainability in a very crowded market.
Will you still be donating 4% of rewards to those service in the public sector globally?
Yes! And we are committed to donating above and beyond that as we have done so far with the current platform. We have supported individuals and charities (details on our web- site)
with direct funding and funding that helps them indirectly (i.e. supporting charities with do- nations) as well as sending aid to the Polish border with Ukraine to help refugees.
We are building in the serving public sector login of the new platform, whilst we do that the devs are looking at ways on how we can start donating rewards via the platform to registered public sector employees now.
As we build and scale, we will be implementing more community based roles. We will be looking towards our community for key proactive members to fill them, which will of course be rewarded.
I’m incredibly excited and optimistic about the future of Giving To Services and the space overall. Dubai registration and our build on XRPL is absolutely key for me personally and for the team right now. I hope this update evokes the same excitement in you as a share- holder as it does within the team, our switch to Ripple net is an incredible opportunity and one I couldn’t let go as the alternative was to continue to take us down a path that didn’t allow us to scale our full potential. By choosing Ripples' XRPL as our chain, we are enabling our community, the people we support and SVS’ utility. In difficult market conditions, we are building longevity and security. Giving To Services is a world first utility and some- thing I’m sure everyone will be just as excited about as us.
Leanne Holder CEO
Giving To Services