As we're all painfully aware the crypto markets have been a mess for the better part of Q1 2018. I know I've lost money, as has the rest of the GUARD team in this market and you likely have too. With that said I'm fully confident that despite the current downturn the market will roar back to life shortly.
In a blog entry I posted on behalf of Mark yesterday he discussed that while we had initially booked over $8M USD in orders in our presale we were only able to collect $3M USD total in the weeks following. We surveyed the people that abandoned their presale orders and the pattern became apparent; people are HODLing. Time-and-again the answer came back that people were apprehensive about market conditions. People signed up for the presale but ultimately decided to hold on to their funds until the market was in better shape. Honestly, I don't blame them one bit and while disappointing the reality is everyone working on GUARD understood the situation and has accepted it.
We've been keeping a very close eye on overall market conditions as well as other tokens sales currently operating and frankly it's an ugly picture right now. I've spoken with a couple of token sale operators (who shall remain nameless as they have not shared their details publicly) and they are struggling. Struggling to collect on presales, struggling to fill their whitelists, struggling to keep overall momentum. These teams are building quality products that are relatively high-profile, they simply entered the market under horrible circumstances. A dirty little secret that people do not share about token sales is that even in a favorable market only about 20%-25% of presale orders will follow through and pay. Nobody discusses this but frankly I'm beyond the point of playing these market games. Thus far we've operated with unusual transparency for a crypto company and we plan to continue doing so.
"even in a favorable market only about 20%-25%
of presale orders will follow through and pay"
Beyond the obvious difficulties of trying to sell tokens in such a market one of the secondary difficulties is pricing. How do you price something when the currency you're pegging it to (NEO/GAS) is constantly moving? Last week we had settled on 250 GUARD per NEO. By Saturday that number had been nearly cut in half; today it went back up slightly. When writing a contract for an NEP-5 token you need to lock the value of your new token to a price for NEO and GAS respectively, but the number is moving so much we run the risk of deploying a contract that could be defunct in terms of pricing in exceptionally short order.
The absolute last thing we want to do is upset the balance between our early supporters in the presale and subsequent crowd funding. As is customary in crypto, presale buyers take a bigger risk but reap the benefits of discounts and bonuses. I cannot in good conscience start selling tokens to people now for less than the presale buyers paid; which of course would massively devalue their purchases. Likewise we cannot raise the value too high as it would dissuade people from participating in future sales. I've witnessed another NEP-5 token suffer from this pricing volatility in their token sale and it is most definitely not an enviable position.
If you've read this far it's likely that you already have guessed where this is going; we're delaying the whitelisted sales. This was not a decision made lightly; I've been ill over the thought for the last two days as has Mark. But when you can't even assign a value to your token without knowing if you are going to screw your presale buyers or drive new purchases away it's time to re-evaluate.
"we're delaying the whitelisted sales"
IMO the biggest risk we can take is launching in an unsteady market; in these conditions a token sale could faceplant and frankly if you stumble hard coming out of the gate you might as well call it a day. The entire crypto market is built on false bravado, perceived momentum and of course everyones favorite acronym twins; FUD & FOMO. While I find those factors to be ridiculous in terms of my own token and coin purchases the reality is the vast majority of the market does not. In these uncertain times I have become very certain of one thing; the artifices of most crypto marketing are as ominous as they are ridiculous and neither I nor the GUARD team will partake.
In summation; the circumstances around the market are awful but in the interest of our presale buyers and the ensured success of GUARD and our emergency response network Guardian Circle we are delaying our token sale to an as yet undetermined date in Q2 2018. We're ready to go as soon as things settle a bit but for now we believe this is the most responsible choice. Until then we'll continue working on the product, sharpen our marketing and continue to forge forward with foreign market outreach.
Thank you all for the support you've offered our project so far and good luck with your crypto!
P.S. we will be answering questions via the comments below and on our Telegram