LIFTED Grant – Phase 2 by Sperax – AMA

$50,000 to women-led projects

This year, Sperax kickstarted a grant series, LIFTED, and wrapped up Phase – I with Polyient Capital.

We are glad to have initiated Phase – II with Oasis Protocol. The theme was STABLECOIN. Together, The Bigger Pie, Sperax and Oasis Protocol threw an AMA on Thursday (May 13) at 6PM BST on the Sperax Telegram group chat to answer all application-related questions.

The grant programme is designed to encourage more women into the sector as well as support those in it.

A grant of $50,000 was up for grabs in USD to women-led projects.

Catch up here on what happened:

Host: Faad (Sperax)

Guest: Alec (Sperax), Frida (Sperax), Andrew (Oasis), Jon (Oasis), Jorge (Oasis), Bridget (The Bigger Pie)

Hi everyone and welcome to our AMA! Today we’re joined by Andrew Miller, Jon Poole, Jorge Cueto from Oasis, Bridget Greenwood from The Bigger Pie, and lastly our very own Alec Shaw and Frida Cai from the Sperax team. We recently announced that we’re partnering with Oasis on our LIFTED grants program, giving up to $50k USD to support women-led projects in blockchain. Meanwhile, we have The Bigger Pie as our major partner as well. We’re excited to have them with us today!!

We’ll start with some questions and then open them up to the community!

Jon: Good morning everyone 👋🏼! I’m Jon Poole, Community Manager and Business Development for Oasis! I’ve been part of Oasis since June 2018. My blockchain background comes from the private investor side, before shifting into CM & BD. I was introduced to Oasis, and the rest is history 🌹. When I understood what Dawn Song’s vision had in store for blockchain, like so many of our team, I felt I had to be a part of it!

Andrew: Hi folks! Sure, I am head of marketing here at Oasis, I have a background working in startups, and have always been passionate about privacy — Oasis and it’s vision really resonated with my interests. I joined about two years ago. Excited to be here!

Bridget: I’m Bridget Greenwood, founder of The Bigger Pie. In 2017 I saw blockchain and crypto technology being another massive transference of wealth, and didn’t want to see half the population left out, once again because of their gender. The Bigger Pie is about supporting the women already pioneering in the space, making sure our role models are visible, getting female founders funded, and attracting and supporting more women into the space.  We have a global, active and supportive community for women and gender minorities https://t.me/TheBiggerPie

If you’re a male ally and would like to participate in the community then message me directly @BridgetTBP or email [email protected]

Alec: I’m Alec Shaw, Partner of Business Development at Sperax. 

As a Finance undergraduate at Marquette University, I founded Marquette’s Blockchain Lab. After graduation, I worked at Marquette University’s business school: managing the finances of student startups at Marquette’s Student-run Business Program.

I have been fully committed to the crypto space since 2016

Outside of financial technology, I’m passionate about snowboarding, digital privacy and delis!

Frida: Hi, my name is Frida Cai, Partner of Global Strategic at Sperax. sperax.io 

I hold a bachelor degree in Foreign Affairs and a history minor from University of Virginia. I am a fresh graduate from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with a Master of Science degree in Data Journalism. With extensive experience in reporting the latest technology trends in Asia, I was mesmerised by the potential of crypto and blockchain industries and have been devoting my career into the space ever since.

Sperax builds the world’s first interest-bearing stablecoin USDs, a community mobile app Sperax Play, and a PoS public blockchain. We are founded in late 2019 and are supported by FBG Capitals and Outlier Ventures.

Andrew: A bit of background on the Oasis Network. Oasis is a privacy-enabled scalable blockchain network. The network seeks to use a combination of privacy technologies as well as a pretty novel architecture (better than sharding) to enable private computation on the network and to do it at scale. 

We’re working with a number of developers interested in protecting their data ranging from consumer tech, fintech, automotive companies, healthcare, private DeFi and more to do this

Some examples of developers on the network today:

– Nebula: https://medium.com/oasis-protocol-project/giving-users-control-of-their-genomic-data-3354a3b89d56?source=collection_home—4——2———————–

– Binance: https://medium.com/oasis-protocol-project/oasis-labs-joins-forces-with-binance-to-launch-cryptosafe-alliance-and-decentralized-platform-for-1e3964d8531

We’re really excited to be here with The Bigger Pie and Sperax to talk about the LIFTED grants program, and to support women in blockchain.

Faad: As I said at the top of the AMA, we partnered on the LIFTED grants program. Can you tell us a little about LIFTED, Alec? 

 Alec: LIFTED is a year long grants initiative designed specifically to provide women-led teams with practical resources. Recipients of the LIFTED grant receive a financial contribution and advisory support from Sperax and partners!

The grant is broken into 4 phases. Each phase follows the calendar quarter and has new partners and mentors! 

Phase 1: NFT

Phase 2: Stablecoins on Oasis

Phase 3: Blockchain at University

Phase 4: Interoperability

Phase I, in partnership with Polyient I had the honor of supporting three women led teams in the space. If you want to learn more about those recipients, check out this blog! https://alecshaw4.medium.com/lifted-grants-phase-i-recipients-98f2ecf3bcdf

Now we are ecstatic to work with Oasis for phase II

Faad: Very cool. Can you tell us a bit about Phase II? Who’s involved, how do folks get involved and who are the judges?

Alec: Of course! The theme of phase II is Stablecoins on Oasis. Applicants should consider ways to launch or bring stablecoins to the Oasis protocol. The best way to do this is to launch directly on Oasis or bridge stablecoins to Oasis through their Ethereum<>Oasis Paratime (bridge)

Folks can get involved by submitting an application by May 31st at https://sperax.io/lifted

Alec: From Sperax, Judges will be Frida Cai, Susu Pu and myself 🙂

Jon: From Oasis, We’re delighted to add to the judging panel our team members Jorge Cueto, Gina Tiriakidou, Anne Fauvre and myself!

Faad: Are you looking for additional partners or mentors? How does that work with LIFTED? What about any volunteering opportunities, Alec?

Alec: We are looking for additional partners to co-host future phases, particularly companies that are interested in hosting a collaborative grant with the LIFTED community, companies can partner to support an additional cohort of LIFTED grant recipients.

The best company are those looking for access to talent and those seeking specific product development or research

We welcome volunteers too! We welcome advisors to work with the grant recipients to help them bring their product to market

Anyone with experience in blockchain development or architecture design or business development mentorship. Community, marketing, go to market all that good stuff!

Anyone interested in volunteering, we are seeking additional advisors for the following 🙂

Technical – Blockchain

Technical – Design

Business Strategy

Faad: Alright! Let’s open up questions to the community. Today we’re giving our rewards for the top 5 best questions asked! Each winner will receive 20 USDT for their contribution.

Okay! Opening up the questions now.

Jon: Thank you, I do see a question here though! I think I read your question as “what more can be done by other projects to help in this amazing cause of neutralizing the gender gap in Blockchain?” 

Glad you asked. 😊

I think just having a conversation about this with their communities and internal teams is something that would spark the question of “are we doing enough to represent the change we want to see not only in the technological space, but also in the way our teams and opportunities are shared with equal and fair evaluation in the blockchain space as a whole.

Charlene: I’m all for anything that helps speed up getting more women into blockchain and cryptocurrency. 

It has been very good for me. I do what I can to encourage women in tech to get into blockchain development, and women who aren’t as technical to at least learn to use cryptocurrency. 

Recently I’ve become excited about helping women artists and creatives learn to mint and sell NFTs using affordable NFT platforms. Because I think it’s a great way to introduce women to crypto.

Zara zamani: Hi everyone and thanks for the information!

I have two questions:

  1. At what stage should the projects that apply be? Is ideation good enough to apply? 
  2. Can one apply for the grant and work with you as advisor both?

Frida: We encourage all projects to apply. But if a project applies with a detailed and concrete roadmap, it shall be a strong application.

Jorge: For sure! You can apply at the ideation stage, before actually having written any code, but grant recipients are expected to meet key milestones that include code to receive grant funds.

Jorge: For the second part of your question, you can for sure apply for a grant and also contribute as an advisor. We are always looking for talented developers who are passionate about building a better internet to contribute to our developer community and help others out.

Samantha: Hi! Interested in applying to this grant. What steps can I take? Thank you

Alec: Here you can find the application form, we will accept applications through May 31

https://oasisfoundation.typeform.com/to/HtYql2aN

You can also find this link at sperax.io.lifted 🙂

Elie: Thank you all!

I’m Elmira, blockchain and crypto enthusiast mostly interested in Edtech and got invited to this event by the wonderful founder @BridgetTBP of The Bigger Pie community. I’ve been a member since 2019 and the experience has been very empowering and a privilege to be amongst such inspiring women. Interested in applying for this grant.

I’m based in Toronto, Canada 🇨🇦 

Is this grant of US 50k for Canadians as well or only Europeans or Americans?

Jon: Just to bump this, the grant is open to all corners of the world! 🌹 Especially Canada 😉🇨🇦🤝

Elie: Go team Canada 🇨🇦🙌🏽

Elena: I’m working with Intercoin that is paving the way the next step in the evolution of money. There are many economic and technological hurdles that make a global blockchain currency unsuitable as means of making micro payment.  Intercoin needs a platform that gives localities the ability to create their own economy backed by Intercoin’s native token, the ITR token.  My question : If Oasis is committed to make blockchain transactions a part of everyday life? Are there the solution for ERC 20 tokens?

I appreciate all the information here today!

I have two questions:

  1. If Oasis is committed to make blockchain transactions a part of everyday life?
  2. Can we apply for the grant if our ERC20 tokens are implemented as smart contracts and executed on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)  to work with Oasis ?

Jorge: Thank you for your questions, for the ERC-20 question, your stablecoin for the grant can be an ERC-20 token as long as it is deployed on the Oasis-Eth ParaTime on the Oasis Network.

Elena: Thank you Jorge 😉

Andrew: Great question. For your first part. Yes, we see blockchain taking a larger role in our everyday lives, especially as it relates to keeping our personal data private and secure. For many, this transformation will happen largely behind the scenes, as companies shift their products away from centralised infrastructure to instead run on decentralised networks like Oasis.

We’re trying to speed up this transition by making tools for mainstream developers that make it quick and easy to integrate their application with Blockchain. We see this as the fastest way to get mainstream adoption of blockchain. 

For the second part of your question, Yes! An ERC20 token would be acceptable. The only requirements is that it must be a stable coin and it must be built on Oasis (likely on the Oasis-Eth ParaTime)

Jorge: For the first part of your question, Oasis is hoping to build a better internet that gives user more control over their data. Our goal is to empower users by leveraging the Oasis Network’s key privacy and scalability advantages, and this includes applications and use cases that users engage with on a daily basis. We are excited about collaborating with developers on a wide variety of projects.

Vinay: Hi there 👋

What type of support will Sperax provide to grant beneficiaries besides the financial incentives?

Frida: Like Alec mentioned above, we will offer mentorship, business development advice, and technical advice in token economics and engineering.

Vinay: Sounds exciting. I have a second question. How will the yield be determined for the stablecoin you propose?

And what would that yield be approx..?

Alec: Yield will be earned from yEarn yield aggregator in the short term, eventually migrating to Sperax aggregator. 

To ensure returns are constant, Sperax will be subsidizing return with our governance token $SPA.

Expected return shall be in the range of 15-30%

Vinay: Thanks..and will the governance token back its peg to the US Dollar?

Alec: The governance token, $SPA will be subject to to the market, no guarantees on that price

USDs will retain the peg and earn interest

Frida: SPA is our governance token, while USDs is our stablecoin.

SPA is not pegged to anything.

Alec: Regarding the 15-30% APY, USDs will earn this yield simply by holding USDs

Vinay: That’s correct. But I was curious to know how is USDs’ peg kept 1:1

Alec: This is a fairly technical question, but the peg is kept through arbitrage and the protocol market making with SPA

Happy to have an extended conversation about this! [email protected]

Anitha: Does the winner of the grant need to build their blockchain with Oasis even if in our case we do not utilize a blockchain at the moment?

Jorge: Thank you for your question. The grant project has to be on the Oasis-Eth ParaTime, consequently it has to be on a blockchain (the Oasis Network blockchain). But you have flexibility with the libraries and frameworks you choose to use for creating your stablecoin.

Zafer: We know that there is occasional gender discrimination in the blockchain industry. A mentality based on male domination should always be criticised. How does Sperax and Oasis bring this problem to the fore with LIFTED?

How do you aim to increase the number of women participating in the blockchain industry so that women are more involved in Finance and technology?

Jon: Well, for starters we’ll continue forward as a leader in the Blockchain space as one of the few projects founded by a Woman (Professor Dawn Song), we also have Anne Fauvre, who is Oasis Labs COO and we have Gina Tiriakidou, who is the Oasis Protocol Foundations Marketing Director. The list of female team members is quite long! 🔥💪

We will continue to provide equal opportunities within our hiring process as we’ve proven time and time again that we take the best candidate for the job and we’re very proud of this!

We have the largest University Program in all of Blockchain and as you can imagine this is a powerful recruiting platform for our ecosystem that will provide both genders equal opportunity to represent and participate from their respective Blockchain Clubs. One of our previous Interns was the former President of the UC Berkeley Blockchain Club and she was also a woman, as is their new President! 

We will continue to set an example of best practices and look forward to growing our ecosystem with fairness and gender neutrality at the forefront!

Bridget: A question was emailed in:

We are building open-sourced self-sustainable parenting community which will act as DAO’s thus working together to make the local economy stable and providing parents the village they miss.

Happy to discuss further if needed the technical aspects.

 I have a few questions:

  1. Do we need to have a team? Can a solo founder apply?
  2. I am building the project right now with someone mentoring me, do we need to check in the code during the application submission or we may do it later?

Jorge: You can apply for a grant as either an individual developer or a team. You don’t need to submit code as part of the application, but you will need to submit code as part of the milestones that you need to show to receive the grant funds later.

Zafer: Will there be any restrictions for applying for the Grant program for women-led initiatives? How will you evaluate the proposals they will create after being awarded a grant? Will the boilers be free to present research content or an innovative project?

Jorge: This is the judging criteria we are using to evaluate proposals:

– Strength of the team, based on past projects, resume, GitHub, etc. 

– Written quality of project proposal, based on details described, content, etc.

– Tech & product quality of project, based on technical implementation details and product vision, design overview, etc. 

– Relevance to the success of the network, based on whether this is a product that could help us grow, an app that is in-demand among our community members, etc.

– Community interest and excitement generated will be a factor considered in the selection process, as an input into the “Relevance to the success of the network” scoring category. We’ll post project overviews on the Oasis GitHub discussion board to allow Oasis community members to share feedback, ask questions, and offer suggestions for each project.

Jorge: In your proposal, you will need to include a description of project milestones. You will need to submit completed milestones in order to receive grant funds.

Zafer: How is the yEarn return collector different from other return frameworks and what advantages will Sperax provide in subsidizing the return with the management token $ SPA? What criteria determine the increase in expected return?

Alec: Please reach out to [email protected] I can share our decision making criteria for choosing yEarn! Currently, from a risk/return perspective, it is the clear choice.