As we set out to build Flexa, we quickly realized that a neutral collateral token was going to be necessary in order to support instant payments at retail points-of-sale, and to make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin acceptable to large, multinational retailers. We also discovered that although there were thousands of cryptocurrencies in the ecosystem already, none of them offered the ideal combination of neutrality, simplicity, security, and utility that we believed could collateralize a global retail payments network. Therefore, in February 2018, we developed the collateral-specific Flexacoin token smart contract.
Now, when we talk about Flexacoin being used for collateral, what we mean is that the Flexacoin token’s utility in the Flexa network is to temporarily secure cryptocurrency transactions while they are awaiting confirmation on the blockchain. To put it another way, Flexacoin represents the assurance that any given Flexa network transaction will settle, which enables Flexa to advance fiat to a merchant in real time in order to complete a retail transaction. In the unlikely event that a cryptocurrency transaction is never confirmed — e.g., due to malicious activity or blockchain vulnerabilities — Flexacoin collateral can be liquidated to cover this fiat advance.
But who would “stake” Flexacoin as collateral for app payments in the first place, and why?
The short answer is that anyone can stake Flexacoin and support an app on the open Flexa network. In return for using their collateral to secure Flexa payments, stakers are paid a small percentage of each transaction that’s processed through the app they choose to collateralize. What’s more, stakers will soon be able to select projects from a transparent network index representing how much stake is allocated across the network at any given point in time (look out for details of this process in a forthcoming update).
In this way, Flexa really represents the first-ever participatory payments network — wherein the total value of Flexacoin staked is exactly equivalent to the total amount of payment volume that can flow through the system, unconfirmed, at any given point in time.
How has Flexacoin been distributed?
From the beginning, Flexacoin was developed to be easy to obtain and simple to use. Since our goal is to make Flexa a useful payments platform for developers and consumers alike, we needed to get Flexacoin tokens into the hands of as many developers and community members as possible. Therefore, we opted not to develop a new blockchain, and instead decided to deploy an ERC20 token on top of the popular and well-tested Ethereum network.
In 2018, we completed a private sale of Flexacoin tokens to a group of accredited investors and established token funds. The proceeds from this token sale have helped us continue to build out the Flexa network through additional merchant integrations and relationships with critical infrastructure partners.
How will the Flexacoin token supply be distributed in the future?
Note: for the purpose of clarity, we’ve adopted the Messari token supply definitions for the supply tranches outlined in this post.
The maximum and diluted supply of Flexacoin will always be 100 billion tokens, as there are no mechanisms within the ERC20 smart contract that enable Flexa or any other party to issue additional tokens now or in the future. The Flexa team has allocated these 100 billion tokens to be used for the following purposes through 2045:
The 25% Merchant Development Fund is an allocation of 25 billion Flexacoin tokens that have been designated solely for supporting merchant integrations with the Flexa network. These tokens are generally reserved for longer-term efforts to facilitate merchant acceptance of Flexa-enabled apps, such as large-scale hardware deployments or software upgrades.
The 25% Developer Grants allocation consists of 25 billion Flexacoin tokens that will be used to help increase the adoption of Flexacoin for payment collateralization. Starting in January 2020, 1 billion FXC will be granted each year to developers who are interested in enabling Flexacoin-collateralized payments in their apps. These tokens will be stake-locked for a period of twelve months upon granting, after which they will be unlocked for general circulation by the developers who receive them.
The 20% Founding Team and Employee Pool is reserved for incentivizing current and future Flexa team members. All supply from this allocation will be distributed on a four-year vesting schedule with a one-year cliff in order to ensure ongoing involvement with the project. To date, approximately 15% of these tokens have been allocated to team members, but none have yet vested. The next major vesting date is May 1.
The 20% Token Sales allocation includes all Flexacoin tokens that have been externally distributed thus far. Of this token sale allocation, 16.5 billion tokens have been distributed to date, including a tranche of 4.5B tokens held in a smart contract vault that will become unlocked and available to token buyers on January 4, 2020.
Finally, the 10% Network Development Fund is an allocation of 10 billion Flexacoin tokens that will be used to support the development of the Flexa network over the first decade of its operation, which are to be disbursed at a rate of roughly 1 billion tokens per year.
Currently, the liquid (and circulating) supply of Flexacoin tokens is approximately 12 billion FXC, which consists solely of tokens distributed through the private token sale. On May 1, 2019, the liquid supply will increase to 15.75 billion tokens, as the first tranche of team tokens vests; and the next major increase in liquid supply will occur on January 4, 2020—when the token sale vault unlocks, and an additional 4.5 billion tokens become available for circulation (on this date, inclusive of additional vested team tokens, the liquid supply is estimated to be 26.37 billion FXC).
Where do we go from here?
At Flexa, we often talk about the gravity of what we’re building. After all, the merchants who have partnered with us in order to support instant cryptocurrency payments in their stores are among the most well-known and reputable retailers and restaurants in the world. It should therefore come as no surprise that we hold the trust of these brands in the highest esteem — which is why we’ve been so careful to build out the Flexa network in the most compliant way possible.
As Flexa grows and matures over the course of the next several decades, we aspire to never compromise on these values, and we believe that we’ve allocated the Flexacoin token supply to best facilitate this mission.
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