Reality of exchange listings, attracting institutional investors and influencer marketing

Hello all!

I have noticed common suggestions from the community that fall into three broad categories:

  • More exchange listings
  • Get more institutional investors
  • Get more influencers to talk about Firo

Let me go through the realities of each so that everyone knows what’s involved.

Exchange Listings

There are a few reasons why exchanges list assets:

  • Listing as it is a highly traded asset: Exchanges at the end of the day want volume and strong communities. Once you have reached a certain threshold, exchanges will rush to list you often for free because they want to cash in on the exchange volumes. An example of this is SHIB and DOGE etc. These aren’t core team led but community led. This is also how we got onto Binance via community vote.
  • Listing for listing fees. Exchanges such as Kucoin can list coins also in exchange for listing fees, marketing fees. For a decent top tier exchange, this can range between 200-500k USD. Mid-tier exchanges cost about 15-50k USD.
  • Listing because of connections or exchange allocations Many coins have centrally allocated supplies that would have a portion of it reserved for exchange listings. Some enter into exclusive arrangements for this. Sometimes exchanges list because the project is one that the exchange owner supports or has a stake in it.

The core team is not designed to have an excess of funds to pay for listing fees. While we have decent relationships with exchanges, our volumes are not large enough to call on them to list us unless they’re hardcore privacy believers. There’s also added risk as a privacy coin. This is also the reason US exchanges have been difficult to get on due to the added regulatory risk exchanges need to face.

Institutional or Big Investors

Institutional or big investors invest into a project because they believe in it but for smaller cap projects, they do want to buy at a certain discount. This is understandable as they will be leveraging their contacts and resources to promote and grow the project.

Ultimately, they want to sell at a profit (even if it’s at a longer time frame). Think of it is as like venture capital where they invest money into you so the project can grow and they make money, much akin to a company.

Now you cannot compare us to already established projects like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Monero where there is already sufficient size for them to take a long term position. This is similar to investors taking positions in blue chip stocks.

What can the core team sell? Our development reward arrives with every block and there’s no large amount that we can sell in size that would make sense for an institutional investor to come in.

There are therefore two ways to do this.

  • create new supply for these investors to come in (which would dilute existing token holders); or
  • launch a new chain with new tokenomics and some reserved for investors and have a portion of the new coins to old chain holders (see Oxen and Chainflip).

None of these are wrong, but community members would need to be open to this, to take the risk of dilution in the hope that the VC will really pull its weight and result in a price increase.

There also needs to be a narrative that supports it. Just being a privacy coin may not be enough to attract institutional investors, this is why we are looking at providing privacy cross-chain and voting applications as well but these are huge investments of time and development resources. These resources are already deployed to deliver on our roadmap promises like Lelantus Spark.

Get more influencers to talk about Firo

There are two ways to do this, organic coverage or paid coverage. Paid coverage tends to be one off, and they tend to not really get into the project details. They also cost a lot of money.

Read this article. Couple of thousand USD for a single tweet, money that I can use to pay developers.

I’ve been aware of this for a long time and to be honest I have tried this twice as an experiment with my own funds but have found limited effect and decided it wasn’t an effective use of money and felt wrong.

There are also other influencer group cliques where they organize PnD and target a coin that they can obtain large amounts of the supply, shill it to their audience, pump it to their paid group/newsletter and then exit. I personally detest this but have seen many of these. Firo is not in this position because of its relatively decentralized holdings.

Organic coverage is much better and we used to get quite a bit of this. Even Naomi Brockwell covers us, Voskcoin, DJMines, CryptoFireSide, Coin Bureau (when we were Zcoin) and other people cause they find the content engaging and educational and they do this without payment or minimal payment (like a token of gratitude).

How do these happen? Viewers alerting the content creators of Firo and intelligently lay out why we should be covered rather than “pls cover Firo, it will go to moon”. Going to conferences and being introduced to people who are intrigued with our story or project. Picking the right influencers also is important for e.g. pitching us to those that cover privacy or dig interesting growth stories, seriously Firo has such a rich history.

Call to Action

Firo has a heck lot to be proud of. Our privacy tech is really groundbreaking and top notch and honestly while things might seem bleak, we have a lot going for us if only the community believes! We have shed the shackles of our seed investors, have some top notch exchange listings, have really good tech and research. What only needs to change is community sentiment, a motivated community that believes in what we are doing rather than one that perpetuates negativity. Remember, 85% of supply is with the community and sure we know everyone has their own lives to lead but don’t you feel amazing to be apart of this amazing project? That you have a voice and the power to change?

This is also what the community fund is for! Now you can get paid for your contributions to grow the project and to me that’s super powerful. Remember, Firo spent to improve the project is money well spent.

I am only one person. You can see a sample of some of the duties I’m already doing. The core team is made up of mostly developers and researchers, hardly the type to spend hours on social media/outreach. All of you are #firofam. If you see good community members, support them, congratulate them, say thanks for their contribution, this is a family that we need to foster.

Go out, reach out to your favorite influencers, if the community wants me to speak on behalf of Firo, sure, I’ll do that interview but hope that more people can speak eloquently on it. I can’t be the only person! Reach out to businesses intelligently.

If anyone wants to coordinate and help the project it can be in many ways and it doesn’t have to be technical!

  • Helping with documentation and guides
  • Arranging interviews or coverage with your favorite influencer
  • Go to social media and forums and talk about Firo and why you like it. Remember as a community member, you have much more freedom to say what you want compared to the core team which has to be much more neutral.
  • Rally behind causes that help Firo be it decentralizing hashrate or the donation drive or organizing a local event!
  • Help combat FUD on social media or our chat channels, don’t let other people or projects shit on us or be passive. Call them out.
  • Design merch and distribute!
  • Create Firo communities in other languages and support / translate!
  • Provide liquidity on Firo on DEXes!

Whatever it is, don’t be passive! Stop asking the core team to do this and that, I have shown you the realities of what the core team can or cannot do!

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Also every little bit helps! Every small contribution has a multiplier effect :slight_smile:

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