AMA Recap with CEO Adam Todd — Where Does Digitex Go from Here?
Adam speaks about the dire partnership with Spotware
Following on from the recent news of the delay of the launch of Digitex Futures, our CEO Adam Todd opened up the floor for a live AMA on our YouTube channel yesterday. Adam speaks about the dire partnership with Spotware, clears up any suspicions over Digitex’s behavior, and reveals a new partnership with Ethereum-approved SmartDec. He then responds to the community’s many questions. Check it out.
Adam Speaks Out and Then Answers Questions Live
Here Are the Highlights from the Session
Adam kicked off the AMA by noting the significance of the date. When we should have been tooting the horns for the launch, he was going live explaining why it was postponed. He stated that he wanted to tackle the AMA in two parts: address what happened and talk about where we go from here. In his own words:
“We have a doozy of a plan.”
Obviously, a lot of dirt has been flying back and forth over the last few days. In this session, Adam was clear that he wanted to address the Spotware topic now but then, after that, wanted to move forward and not dwell on it further. Our focus is firmly on the future.
Why We Couldn’t Work with Spotware
After Adam’s recorded video postponing the launch, he went into more detail answering some of the questions that came out of the failed Spotware partnership. Why couldn’t we simply delay the launch and continue working with them, for example?
Adam reiterates that there was an agreement with Spotware for delivery of a live demo on 2nd April and the finished product on 22nd April. The company had stated otherwise in a blog post, and we addressed that here soon after.
Regarding the bugs that had been found earlier, including no volume figure, and the inability to sell a contract a trader has just bought (among a myriad of other issues), Adam again reiterated that he was assured they were being fixed.
Just a few days before the launch on 23rd April, he was informed by Spotware that the bugs were not bugs after all, but “expected behavior.” He was informed that with another two-to-three months work, the Spotware team “may” be able to fix the issues. However, by this point, all trust and communications had broken down.
Moreover, it was abundantly clear that the team did not understand the product that it was building. As Adam questioned:
“Who builds a futures exchange that doesn’t have a last traded price and a 24-hour volume figure? What else do you judge a market by? What are you building?”
Adam closed this part of the AMA discussing Spotware and moved onto the plan that Digitex has made for the future.
Where Does Digitex Go from Here?
If you haven’t seen the video yet, you should really check it out! If you want to skip over the Spotware session and launch straight into our next steps, start at around the 24th minute. Our plans have changed since the announcement last Friday when we revealed that we would be building out our development team in Serbia.
Of course, many people wanted to know why this was the case. The truth is that the whole Spotware debacle left Adam and the team completely blindsided. The very best option for us at the time was to take development back under our control with a lead developer we trust and who created the market makers for us. As Adam says:
“I made that video on Friday, saying that I was going to set up this team in Serbia, and I have premises in Serbia. The guy that was making the market makers for me is a top, top guy and I want to continue working with him.”
However, over the weekend after the announcement, many software development companies contacted Adam wanting to work with Digitex. Most interestingly, SmartDec got in touch.
As some of you may know, we’ve mentioned SmartDec before. In fact, as one of the strongest teams working in the Ethereum space, they have built all of our smart contracts from the start as well as the Digitex Treasury.
A New Collaboration with Ethereum-Approved SmartDec
Adam reveals that SmartDec has wanted to build a non-custodial exchange for a while now, but they’re developers, not marketers. Bringing a product to life involves more than just building it. SmartDec told Adam:
“We see this as a perfect opportunity to work with Digitex. We can we take over the whole development, spend a month hammering out the code we have and all the tech specs. We can work together in Moscow with a 10-strong team of our best developers.”
Adam urged AMA attendees to go and check out the SmartDec team. The lead developer (who we will present to the Digitex community shortly) was “made for this job,” winning six out of seven Ethereum hackathons.
Moreover, SmartDec is “best buddies” with our other partner Matter Inc. who are working on the integration of the Plasma protocol into the exchange.
An Open and Transparent Development Process
We’ve learned from our painful lesson. This time around, the development process will not be under wraps and the developers have agreed to be available, collaborative, and not camera shy. In fact, they’ve already proven so, providing us willingly with a photograph and writeup when they won the Paris ETHHackathon.
The SmartDec team will issue bi-weekly reports, and even better, the exchange code will be around 90 percent open source and freely viewable on Github. Adam explains that we’ll still be keeping around 10 percent of the code to ourselves, to keep our “secret sauce,” but that complete transparency this time around is one of the ways in which we hope to rebuild trust in this project and repair damaged relations with our investors.
The decision to work with SmartDec is the best news to come out of the unfortunate set of development decisions taken so far. As Adam enthused:
“The chances are now there of this launching as a truly great exchange built by the best people in the business!”
Answering Some of Your Questions
Is Digitex pulling an exit scam?
The first question (and perhaps one of the most obvious in light of the past week) that Adam answers is whether Digitex a scam.
He stated with no uncertainty that SmartDec wouldn’t touch any scam. The partnership alone should be indicator enough that Digitex is fully intending to launch the exchange as planned, albeit with some delay.
Spotware mentioned in their article that Adam had no intention of launching an exchange. However, Adam says to “look at his actions” rather than his words.
He moved to Cyprus, signed a one-year lease on an apartment, sent computational equipment to the Spotware office. Why would he do all that if he had no intention of working with them long-term?
On top of that, one obvious factor to keep in mind is that, if this is an exit scam, why are we all still here? No tokens dumped, no empty socials and Adam live on YouTube.
Do we have enough funds to continue?
Adam confirmed that we do. Everything will continue as before, except for the fact that he won’t be giving any more dates for milestones for launch until they have been decided and documented by the development team at SmartDec. Everyone who’s interested in keeping tabs on the project progress can read the bi-weekly reports and see for themselves.
How was it possible to have a working demo then pull the launch?
Adam agreed the demo was working because he had a large account balance of DGTX tokens in the account which meant he could place buy and sell orders on the ladder.
However, the bots were losing money due to the rounding issue we already covered as being a bug. Moreover, the other bugs we mentioned, we knew about as well. However, as Adam states, you don’t inform a community and cancel the upcoming launch every time there’s a bug. It was understood that all these issues would be fixed by launch.
Did anyone in Digitex dump tokens prior to the announcement?
Adam confirmed that nobody from Digitex has sold their tokens. The only token sales from the Digitex side is through the Treasury, which was already happening and covered extensively before the announcement on 26th April.
Can we have SmartDec doing an AMA with Adam?
Adam confirmed that yes, future AMAs will involve the SmartDec developers and we’ll also get some interviews with them.
When will SmartDec validate this partnership?
Adam confirms that everything will be revealed very soon on our blog and that there’s no reason to believe the partnership doesn’t exist. In fact, SmartDec already has a link to Digitex on their website (although, their logo needs an update!) and we have covered them on our blog several times in the past.
How big is SmartDec?
Adam confirmed that they have around 40 developers, so they’re a big development company. Digitex is getting a full 25 percent of their resources–10 developers from SmartDec working on getting the product ready for launch. As Adam enthused:
“We’ll have Ethereum dev teams working with Ethereum dev teams which is a perfect match!”
Will the exchange run on Plasma or a centralized server?
Adam confirmed that we will still be a hybrid exchange, as has always been the plan. The order matching engine will be on a centralized server but the account balances will be decentralized.
Adam confirmed that the previous plan was to bring the exchange live, and then implement Plasma. Now, we will be able to develop the full exchange with all planned functionality right from the start.
Is there any concern a competitor will come along and steal Digitex’s idea?
Adam admitted that this could always happen. But it would be very difficult to come along and copy what a company like SmartDec are doing AND replicate the success Digitex has had in building a community.
What was the best thing that ever happened to Coca-Cola? Pepsi. Adam says:
“If a competitor comes out, they can’t copy us and or replicate the strength of our community but if someone tried, we’d take the opportunity to get stronger as a result.”
When can we expect a full roadmap with the new approach?
For the next month, we will be working with SmartDec on the new approach. After this time, we will have a good idea of a time frame and there will be bi-weekly updates. Adam will be moving to Moscow now and working side by side with the developers there. We will put out a roadmap, but not before time and not commit to any dates until we are 1,000 percent sure this time around.
Will SmartDec provide exchange support once it launches?
Yes, the “launch is just the start. It’s likely that we will never finish refining it”.
How come Digitex went with Spotware and not SmartDec from the start?
Adam explained that, as you saw, we had a working exchange back in November in Malta, but everything was taking so long and Adam wanted a quicker solution to deliver on our promise after not being able to launch the Beta version on time.
At the time, we didn’t explore SmartDec but Spotware seemed attractive because they had cTrader and said they could adapt it quickly to our needs. Adam holds his hands up that this ended up being a bad choice. But confirms:
“We’re not going anywhere. We’re going to succeed because we’ll keep going until we do. We have one of the most capable and respected blockchain development companies in the world. We have such a strong community. It’s a recipe for huge success.”
We have the funds and now we have all the right talent in every place of our team to build a successful exchange. Adam repeats that he is very sorry to both the team and the token holders for what has happened, and he takes full responsibility.
He confirmed he will talk to anyone in the media who’s interested in hosting us to explain the plan and how we intend to make good on the situation and build a world-class exchange, closing with the words:
“Thanks for the support, great things to come, exciting times ahead.”
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