Agora Interview with CEO Leonardo Gammar
In an age where IEO’s (Initial Exchange Offerings) are all the rage, Agora are taking the perhaps somewhat bold decision to go back to the roots of the ICO via their own token sale.
Leo Gammer, CEO, explains that the community was at the front of his mind here as they are “our backers” and “their satisfaction is our priority”. He explains that “doing an ICO without providing immediate liquidity was definitely not an option for us.”
When the ICO is complete, $VOTE, the native token o f Agora, will be immediately listed on Binance DEX for trading.
VOTE is described as “the native token of the Agora ecosystem. It incentivizes citizens and selected organizations to contribute to a secure and transparent election process by acting as authenticators of elections worldwide.”
I sat down with Leo to talk more about the project and the vision behind Agora.
In Conversation with Leo Gammar, CEO of Agora
How would you describe Agora to our readers and what issues are you looking to solve?
Agora is a protocol company made for the purpose of voting, built from scratch, with a number of Dapps to enable anyone, anywhere to vote for elections, referendums, surveys, shareholder meetings, exchange listing etc. Allowing communities, private and public organisations to eradicate fraud and corruption, reduce costs and engage voters in a modern, cost effective, convenient and accessible way.
Agora chain is a proprietary chain based on a non financially incentivised consensus mechanism which has been purpose built for the use case of voting. The need for a non financial incentive serves the communities and not the incentives of miners on a network. Agora’s public blockchain which is called the Bulletin Board, it is where the data is stored throughout any given election process. Any party can verify the validity of a given election as well as all of the intermediate steps of the voting process.
Our consensus is called proof of sign, not offering any financial incentive to the nodes, all of them are equal and the consensus is provided based on their digital signature. Agora has three technological innovations that make them stand out they are called Skipchain, Cotena and Valeda. Skipchain provides a consensus mechanism with high throughput and efficient transaction validation. Cotena then provides a method for storing cryptographic Skipchain proofs onto safe public chains of the industry (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Vechain, Litecoin or others, can for example be part of our architecture) and Finally, Valeda performs cryptographic proofs validating Skipchain and Cotena data all with the goal of providing high security and verifiability.
How was the decision made to run your ICO and get immediately listed on the Binance Dex and what advantages does this bring?
Doing an ICO without providing immediate liquidity was definitely not an option for us.
Our community are our backers, their satisfaction is our priority.
Why DEX? Dex is the new product of the biggest crypto exchange in the space, we trust that the quality of the user experience will be good for our contributors. Binance will definitely put effort and resources to build a solid environment around DEX. It’s a good first step in the secondary market for us. Our plan was to ramp up things quickly but to make sure that our first step is safe.
Why not an IDO? Our understanding after observing DEX and sharing with some friends who interacted with it, that it’s a “Bring Your Own Buyers” type of exchange, we need to create demand, to have new backers, rather than selling another coin to the Binance community.
We didn’t even start (aggressively) marketing our product to them, they will be aware slowly throughout the next weeks, It’s more intense for us, because we need to get all our community together but I think it’s a better long term plan. We count on existing DEX users to provide support level once more aware of Agora.
You’ve recently formed a partnership with Fenbushi who will act as strategic investors. Can you provide some details about this partnership and the expertise and advice that a company of Fenbushi’s stature brings to Agora?
Fenbushi made many introductions, within and outside of the space, helped with capital infusion when needed and building our Chinese community. Their DD was hard, they asked relevant and educated questions about the voting industry, not only about the token metrics. They believe in the long term value of the project.
Speaking about the Chinese market, Bilaxy was also a very precious investor and partner, they made valuable introduction to investors and Chinese communities.
How are the plans shaping up for marketing and building a strong, core community which is essential for any new project in the crypto industry?
At Agora we focus on execution as for us this is the best form of marketing. VOTE tokens are not correlated to the consensus mechanism but they are used to audit elections, so each time there is an election on our chain, large or small, VOTE token holders can benefit. We aim to educate people about the VOTE token utility as it incentives everyone to become involved in the election process. The voting industry is around 0.3% of the world’s GDP, imagine a time where everyone can benefit from that.
Last year you successfully ran the first blockchain-based election in Sierra Leone. Are you currently targeting any other countries to explore this practice further?
Yes, Agora has been around for 4 years already, so in that time we’ve not only been working on the tech’ but also putting a lot of effort into building strategic partnerships around the world, be it with governments, electoral commissions, strategic partnerships or international relations. We are already working with various governments and have multiple implemented use cases, we offer white label solutions therefore we may have taken part in blockchain voting processes in areas that we have not been able to publicise. It is a new technology and some governments prefer to implement step by step by not using the whole solution just yet but aim to scale up. Then we have other governments who are fully prepared to change their existing model, but of course time frames of changing sometimes lawful policy can differ. So there are many ways in which we have been and are continuing to work with nations.
Are you only looking to explore strictly governmental voting or are there plans to use this technology in other ways?
Governmental voting is of course the main reason why we’re here, to have communities trust their democratic process, promote international investment in nations that need it, reduce electoral violence, make voting accessible for all, to save tax payers and governments astronomical amounts of money amongst other reasons. But voting can be used, in many instances, for example the entertainment industry, shareholder meeting etc. We will be putting in place an online portal where services can be bought directly from our website for small and medium size elections so they can run organically, in these cases Agora will send a notification to the auditors so they can audit and that’s it. For these small elections Agora only acts as a moderator to make sure that the topic of the election is law compliant.
Are there any other exciting announcements we can expect to see from Agora?
Yes, we have some news already but aim to keep these for after listing, so soon! Stay tuned.
I sincerely thank Leo for his time and wish the team all the best.
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