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3air Presale Update and What’s Next

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Dear 3air fam,

Today marks an important moment in our history: we have closed the presale for 3air. We also have some bittersweet news to tell you, so read on!

3air Presale Update and What’s Next

3air’s Public Presale

It’s been 2 months since we started our public presale. I’m going to break the bad news first: we didn’t reach our (very ambitious) soft cap. Sure, we knew that things weren’t going to be a walk in the park. But there were some things we didn’t see coming.

Over the past two months, thousands of people have joined us on our mission to make 3air possible. It’s been a crazy ride: from starting development on 3air, growing our network and making excellent connections to onboarding lots of new bright minds. Yet, we struggled with filling the presale and development on Cardano.

In the past 2 months, we managed to sell a total of $617,475.60 worth of 3air tokens in different crypto assets in the public presale. This represents the small and medium-level private holders who believe in our cause enough to rally together and make 3air happen. However, it’s not even close to what we have set out to fill. Our target was $8.5 M with the minimum of $4 M needed to reach the soft cap. Since the public sale didn’t bring in enough assets, we also could not activate the launchpads we had planned to go with, meaning we had to forgo another $3.5 million.

In the meantime the private presale was thankfully running a bit smoother and filling up pretty quickly.

We will be publishing a detailed report about the public and private presale in the upcoming days.

How did we get here?

We have done a lot of thinking about the reasons why this happened. Sure, it’s easy to blame everything on the current global crypto downtrend that started at exactly the same time as our presale — talk about great timing. We do believe the current market sentiment largely contributed to not reaching our goals, but there are other reasons, too.

Prior to launch, we did a great deal of research and market analysis into projects that are similar to ours (those of you who read the whitepaper can probably tell!). But what we didn’t sufficiently anticipate before launching is the tough competition within the crypto space in regards to other, unrelated and already existing projects. We also did not expect such a large gap between the Cardano community and the rest of the blockchain world.

We anticipated it would not be easy to get acceptance in the community, so we planned ahead and formed alliances and even genuine friendships within Cardano and IOHK. Unfortunately, we did not think it would be necessary to formalize these into written agreements. In the end, Murphy’s law holds true and none of the pledges we were given were honored, and we did not get any plausible explanation as to why. We kept pushing forward, yet underestimated the effort it would take to get acceptance and recognition by the Cardano community without an official endorsement. While 3air is unique in its technology and business model, there are some similarities to other projects that sparked heated debates and some unexplainable hate towards 3air.

We love Cardano’s vision, mission and all the work they have done since the beginning. We wanted to be a part of it, as we are certain we could be a big asset to the whole ecosystem. We made sizable adjustments to our tokenomics to make it better suited and as fair as possible for the Cardano-focused public presale.

Sadly, we did not get the promised “happy welcome” from the Cardano community (with the exception of a few individuals) since the beginning of the public presale. At the same time, we were also turned down by many potential investors for using Cardano’s blockchain, because of its current state and its history of slow development. The lack of trust in Cardano that exists within the broader crypto investor space astounded us. Yet we held true to our promise and started developing on the Cardano chain.

Developing on Cardano

This was another tough challenge we greatly underestimated. As you know, we have over 40 developers on our team. But none of them is a senior Haskell or Plutus developer, the two languages needed to build on the Cardano blockchain. We invested a lot of time and resources on educating our developers in the required skills, but the process is slower and harder than anticipated. We have been recruiting new senior Haskell and Plutus developers since the very beginning of the 3air project, but only managed to get 2 part-time entry-level Haskell developers on board. There is currently a huge talent shortage on the market caused by a strong lack of this kind of skill set, combined with a lack of new talent becoming available.

We then agreed to a cooperation with MLabs, a development agency focused on Haskell and Plutus, as suggested by IOHK. After a few calls, we had a great feeling about them. They are very professional and probably the best Plutus developers on the market right now. But they are also very busy.

With time and many trials we found out that developing on Cardano is not all roses. We attribute that in full to the lack of skills and experience on our team. We believe that all challenges can be overcome, but there is the question of the time and cost required, and that seems extremely high in the current state of the Cardano platform — at least for us. Talking to other projects in the space, you get the impression that everyone is struggling right now. This may be the reason why we are still to see a proper dApp even 5 months after the Alonzo hard fork that enabled the smart contract functionalities on Cardano. Every project that tried to launch as of now faced issues that are yet to be resolved.

TGE and listing on Cardano

As you may recall, our primary listing is focused on a DEX. We have been assessing the space and waiting for the Cardano DEX to be launched, placing a lot of hopes on SundaeSwap. Unfortunately, its launch was not a success and we are not confident on launching our token on SundaeSwap. We do not believe Scoopers are the way to go and no other Cardano DEX to date has been satisfactory.

The Cardano community

We do need to give praise to the Cardano community. Even though we have not reached mainstream project awareness within Cardano, every member of the community that took the time to seriously look at 3air has been supportive and we thank you greatly for that. The readiness to help and the support received from people gathered around 3air in the last two months surprised us positively to the point of actually considering you as family. Recent AMAs and Twitter Spaces are giving us the motivation and the needed energy to continue despite not reaching our first goal.

Going Forward

“The show must go on”, they say. And it will.

Currently we have over 2500 end users on the ground waiting to use the 3air platform. Together with K3, we are currently engaged in many investor talks, some of them almost finalized and closed. They could cover 3 countries in the near future, starting with DRC and Ethiopia and continuing to Nigeria. They are all very likely to succeed, with or without 3air funding them.

There will be an ever-growing demand for the 3air platform in the future and the currently raised funds suffice for the quality development of the platform we have set out to build. This is why, even though the soft cap requirement has not been met, we have decided to proceed with the 3air project. Because of that we may not be able to expedite the expansion of K3 last mile solution into new countries and this may slow the real world adoption of the 3air platform in the beginning but should not influence the demand in the long term at all. It might also have a good influence on the token economics as with less tokens sold, less tokens are in circulation and the market cap at launch will be smaller. In turn, future selling pressure should also be lower.

There are other things currently happening in the background. We are in talks with major investors and partners for 3air that would not only bring the needed funds to the game, but also their communities. At this stage of our talks, we cannot currently disclose the names of the two big players so as to not jeopardize the positive outcome.

We have also had positive talks with GIGA, a large-scale, multinational UNICEF project focused on covering schools with internet connectivity.

We still want to launch the 3air platform in Q3 2022!

Necessary changes

Yes, a few adjustments going forward will be needed. Equipped with all the new knowledge and experience we gathered, we have been exploring and evaluating the best possibilities to achieve our number one goal — which is connecting our first customers through the 3air platform by Q3–2022.

The last months of development have taught us that it will be extremely hard for us and we are unlikely to succeed in our mission if we continue to develop on Cardano. This is why we are temporarily suspending our Cardano development and will be switching to a EVM-compatible blockchain, a language our developers are proficient in.

We understand that some of you might not like our decision but please, read on to understand our reasoning.

We still believe in Cardano’s mission and will continue to connect the unconnected and provide equal opportunities to people in Africa. Changing the chain we build on does not change what 3air is all about. Not in the slightest. We just are not capable of providing the necessary skills within the team to be able to successfully build and launch a perfectly working platform within the set timeframe. After consulting with several experts, VCs and investors we also believe this is right now impossible with the current state of Cardano and it won’t be at least until the Hydra L2 scaling is fully functional.

Additionally, we would like to become an official partner of GIGA as it fully aligns with 3air’s purpose. With the K3 Last Mile solution, we are currently covering over 1000 schools that GIGA has mapped out, we just need to plug them into our system. With the help of GIGA and UNICEF, we can reach a global level of awareness for 3air, for blockchain and for more inclusive connectivity in Africa. In our opinion, providing education possibilities to African countries is the best possible use case for our technology and reaches directly into our core values. The official route to GIGA starts with an application to their current tender (https://www.unicef.org/innovation/venturefund/funding-opportunity-blockchain-capacity-building). However, this may not be possible while building on Cardano.

Further, none of our current biggest partnership talks are Cardano-based. Bringing us close to our partners through technology is not a requirement, but we believe it greatly improves our chances of a positive outcome. The same goes for reopening talks with previously refused investment proposals.

Lastly, we have many chains offering us official partnerships, grants, and full support in regard to community building, marketing and development help, something we have not received from Cardano.

The decision has not been taken lightly and has been on the table for over a month. In the end, we had to weigh the benefits of staying on Cardano for its alignment with our core values against the cost of being restricted by its limitations in terms of development speed and low investor buy-in.

In the spirit of full transparency, we have laid out our challenges for you to understand and form your opinion. If you have bought out tokens in the presale and think we have taken a premature decision and wrongly assessed our best options to succeed in our mission, then you will have the option for a refund. The details on refunds will be presented within 2 weeks after the public sales ends. We do hope though, that you see that our hearts are in the right place and that our mission has not changed a bit. We have the team and the technology to execute quickly and efficiently. Now we need to create an environment where 3air can grow to its full potential.

The new timeline

We closed our public sale on January 26th at 12pm GMT. We will soon publish a new version of our presale app that will allow you to connect with your Metamask wallet. This will provide a new wallet to transfer your 3air tokens to. You will need to complete this latest 6 weeks after the end of the public sale. We will notify you as soon as the feature is available.

We will take 6 weeks to prepare all the necessary vesting and minting contracts for 3air tokens. They will be published on our Github pages. Once ready, or latest on March 9, we will have the Token Generation Event (TGE) and you will be able to see the tokens in the presale app (not yet in your wallet). We will then reopen the public presale for one more week. The new public sale dates are from March 31 to April 7, 2022 at 12pm GMT. The new public presale will already run under new tokenomics laid out in the new Whitepaper.

On April 11 at 12pm GMT, vesting starts and liquidity will be provided to the DEX that will be selected for our launch. Trading will start immediately. There will be no soft cap, as with the new plan the previously collected funds already satisfy the minimum funding requirement needed for the development of the platform.

To everyone who has purchased tokens until now: we will not be changing conditions on the tokens that have been sold until now. Because of this, there will only be changes for tokens sold from this point on, and there will be some changes on vesting procedures beneficial for everyone. Please also note that we will have the TGE at the earliest time possible to ensure full transparency. This then implies that vesting does not start with TGE but with the DEX launch.

The next 8 weeks

So, we now have 8 weeks. Not a lot of time, but still enough to improve on things that have been lagging behind. The first one is development.

Switching to a new chain

The decision of switching chains is a big one that we did not take lightly. We have considered the pros and cons of several different chains, consulted with advisors, experts, VC’s and other high-profile investors.

A major condition for us is moving to a chain that aligns with our core values and getting official support from the network we switch to. We are happy to say that we’re already in the final stages of talks with major partners who are offering us their full support and are making great bids for 3air to join their ecosystems.

We can’t disclose all the details yet, but we can tell you this:

  • We are going with an EVM compatible chain: This means that we will be able to push the integration with Metamask in a matter of days. It also opens us up for potential partnerships with other EVM-based projects down the line which can be a gamechanger for 3air.
  • We are getting full support from the new partner: There will be an official partnership with a highly motivated team and a fast-growing community behind our new partners. This is one of the things we’re most excited about, as collaboration in the blockchain space is one of the biggest drivers of value and success.
  • We are getting low fees: We will not be launching on Ethereum as some have been afraid. The chain of choice will need to provide the lowest fees possible.

Increased & faster development

With the switch to EVM and Solidity, we will be far more active on providing development updates and publishing smart contracts on our Git pages where you will be able to follow our activity. We will update the presale app with the Metamask connection shortly, making it easier to use and more transparent also removing any need for email logins.

We will premint the tokens within the next 6 weeks and place them in the vesting smart contract so you will be able to follow it on-chain and see it in your presale app. We will also apply for a smart contract audit.

We will also announce the new blockchain of our choice during this period.

In parallel, we will already continue development of the 3air platform and pick up where we left off. We will not be publishing this work openly until we have the smart contracts ready and the rest will still remain partly proprietary, for the time being at least.

Updated Tokenomics

As already mentioned, we had made adjustments to our first tokenomics model to fit the Cardano ecosystem. This is not how we set out in the beginning and is not the best for attracting private investors. We will be changing this to attract more partners and investors without compromising on the token’s future potential. Strong investor-partnership relations will bring additional value to 3air in the sense of community exposure, marketing and entering local markets.

A change that affects all tokens bought in the presale is the vesting process. We want to improve this for all 3air holders. As the time of vesting will remain the same, the vesting will be continuous, meaning you will be able to claim the vested tokens at any point in time, even multiple times during the day. This is in contrast to releasing tokens once per month and gives you more freedom while maintaining the same vesting conditions. It also prevents token sell-offs before major unlocks, as vested tokens can be released at any time.

If you prefer to step out of 3air and remove your buy-in from the public presale, you will of course have that option. In the next two weeks, we will do the full accounting for the presale to deduct the expenses from the amount we raised. Once this is finalized, you will be able to claim your funds inside the presale dashboard. We will announce this in our Telegram and Discord channels and explain the process as soon as it is available. If you are staying true to 3air and continuing with us on our journey, you will not get any expenses deducted and you will get the full amount of 3air tokens.

The amended white paper and an updated version of the docs section on our website will be published shortly.

More marketing & communication updates

A new webpage is in the works and should be up and is scheduled to go live by February 8, if all goes to plan.

We will also be minting our first NFTs once we’re on the new blockchain. The NFTs will be awesome and the first ones will come with some free-for-life connectivity features, so don’t miss those.

We will commit to additional marketing and community building. Up until now, our marketing efforts have been very effective, especially when you take into account that we launched without any endorsements, existing communities or major partnerships to back us up. We have managed to build a strong following and a coherent community from scratch and we will continue to stay transparent and open and accessible to anyone. It’s quite astonishing that we have managed to grow to over 20K followers on Twitter, 1.4K on YouTube, 6K on Telegram and 1.6K on Discord in only 2 months. We have created over 33.000 messages in Telegram and almost 900 Tweets. And now we are upping our game.

We have five 3air short stories ready to be published. They have been written by a creative short story writer from Ghana and will show you how 3air will change people’s everyday lives.

We still have more than 500.000 3air tokens available for airdrops that we will use for marketing and community expansion during this time.

We will continue with our awesome YouTube AMAs and will add Twitter Spaces to allow you, the 3air fam, to participate directly and more easily.

We will have our first 3air merch ready with the first round of 3air T-shirts in design already.

We will continue to work on partnerships that will not only bring not only funds, but also official recognition and new communities to 3air. We will also continue and reopen talks with investors.

We will leverage all the possibilities and support offered by our new blockchain partnership. Little hint: it’s going to be huge!

We are scheduled to attend more upcoming blockchain events and go after additional speaker slots and panels.

We are on the lookout to extend our already great team and advisor lineup.

In the next few weeks, you will learn more about 3air’s unique value proposition to its customers and why our solution will revolutionize the telecom industry in African countries. You’ll get to know more about how K3 and 3air work. You will see how 3air plans to educate its customers on how to use blockchain. You will discover the awesome ways we will increase connectivity for better access to quality education and work.

We’re excited to move forward with the development, marketing and community expansion of 3air in a faster and more efficient way than ever before.

With this we are truly opening up a new chapter in 3air. We are confident that we will achieve our mission and see to its execution without further delays. The dates have been set and they are final. This is it. We hope you will continue to stand with us in our mission to connect the people who need it most and change their lives forever.

We want to hear from you

You probably have some questions and thoughts after reading this. We want to hear from you! Join us for our very first Twitter Space LIVE this Thursday, January 27 at 11am GMT. You can click here to set yourself a reminder to join on Twitter. We hope to see you there!

Stay connected, 3air fam!

Your CEO, Sandi Bitenc

We have published a full presale report here: https://docs.3air.io/presale/presale-report/