June '21 Investor Update - Closed Beta Launch!

a month ago   •   6 min read

By Tony Cai

Transparency is core to what we do at Atomic.Finance.

To that end, we want to share publicly our monthly updates that we send to our investors and advisors. We had started doing this last October, but didn't follow through. We'll try harder this time. If you find this useful or interesting and you think we should continue, please let us know @AtomicFinance.

Email to Atomic Finance investors and advisors sent 26 June 2021

Dear Atomic.Finance team, investors, and advisors,

After several months of design and engineering work, this past month has finally marked the first time that we were finally able to put Atomic.Finance into our first users' hands!
Although we've only onboarded just over a handful of users over the past week, (part of our measured approach we're taking to onboarding new users for now and tiny in comparison to a 5K strong waitlist), we're excited about the learnings we'll get from customers over the next couple weeks as we continue to onboard more and more users.
As always, we encourage you to please email or message whenever you have a new thought for us (it could be ideas, feedback, potential intros)!

Summary

Closed beta plans:

  • Initial onboardings of closed beta users began June 14th.
  • 8 users have been onboarded thus far, including 3 friendlies from our partners at Suredbits, with an additional 7 currently scheduled for next week. More are being scheduled as we speak.
  • Our waitlist grew by ~500 in the past month from 4.5K to just over 5K.

Engineering:

  • Our focus was on Mainnet private beta preparation:
  • UI/UX fixes, security improvements, market making bot dev
  • Testnet and Mainnet testing
  • Production environment setup

Product / Design:

Our main focus from the closed beta test:

  • What are the common threads across people who are most ready to use this initial iteration given the drawbacks it has now? (eg. Lack of automation, they must be willing to actively manage positions and open to accepting price risk)
  • What are the common threads across people who have indicated interest in the product by their participation on the waitlist BUT are not yet comfortable and ready to use this current iteration?
  • What's holding them back?
  • What key features does this segment require to feel more comfortable using the product?
  • How close are we to product-market fit? Are we retaining users?
  • Are users coming back for a second position after their first position ends?
  • Do they increase their position sizes after the first position?

Content:

  • After bringing Craig onboard last month, we’ve doubled down on our content efforts.
  • We’ve since published “A Sound Finance Manifesto”
  • An ELI5 series consisting of layman explainers about how DLC’s and covered calls work is in the pipeline.

🙋🏻‍♂️Asks

  • Please give "A Sound Finance Manifesto" a share!
  • It's Craig's debut piece and it encapsulates the WHY of Atomic.Finance - why we chose to build on Bitcoin and the importance of building sound finance on sound money.

📈Metrics / Waitlist Signups - Now at 5K

  • Growth of the waitlist, while significantly slower than the first couple of weeks after launching the landing page initially - has began to pick up once again after we increased our activity on Twitter and blog once again.

✨Highlights

  • Reminder of what we're working on: We're building an easy-to-use mobile experience that provides a way for Bitcoin holders that care deeply about the security of their coins a way to be able to grow their stack in a manner that is transparent and non-custodial.
  • Reminder of our initial target customer segment: privacy / custodial-wary retail Bitcoin yield seeker

⏳Closed Beta Plans

  • At launch, we will be focussing on covered calls with ~30 beta users enabling them to make yield on their Bitcoin
  • These first 30 primarily constitute prospect users that we've chatted during user interviews a couple months back for user research, along with a few influencers (Dan Held, Jimmy Song, Pierre Rochard) who were interested in using our product.
  • One sign of trouble we’ve seen: Though we’ve managed to schedule onboarding calls with roughly half of the list of 30 that we intended, we’ve heard from some from the other half that they are now “too busy” to go through with the onboarding call or straight-up haven’t responded.
  • In the next week, we plan on digging a bit deeper into that and following up with a question or two to find out what’s holding those users back.
  • Because of this, we’ve reached out to a number of additional folks on our waitlist to refill those slots
  • How have we been onboarding? We onboard each individual user over a Zoom call and set up separate Telegrams / WhatsApp to communicate with each individual closed beta user

⚙️Engineering

Mobile app and DLC Daemon integration were the key focuses

  • The main focus this month was preparation for private beta, which involved:
  • App dev and UI/UX fixes
  • DLC Daemon security improvements
  • Market making bot development
  • Testnet and Mainnet testing
  • Additionally we worked on setting up our production environment, including our bitcoin node, electrs server, and testnet/mainnet environment.

🎨Product / Design

Our Primary Learning Goals for the Closed Beta

  • Who's using it? What are the common threads across people who are most ready to use this initial iteration given the drawbacks it has now? (eg. Lack of automation, they must be willing to actively manage positions and open to accepting price risk)
  • Is this segment large enough or reachable enough to double down as a beachhead segment in the short / medium term?
  • What key features does this segment require to increase their usage of the product?
  • Who are not yet comfortable? What are the common threads across people who have indicated interest in the product by their participation on the waitlist BUT are not yet comfortable and ready to use this current iteration?
  • What's holding them back?
  • What key features does this segment require to feel more comfortable using the product?
  • Retention / Product-Market Fit: How close are we to product-market fit? Are we retaining users?
  • Are users come back for a second position after their first position ends?
  • If not, what's holding them back from doing this?
  • Do they increase their position sizes after the first positions?

Two key assumptions we're gathering data on

  • Key assumption #1 - Risk/reward tradeoff: We believe that the yields presented will be deemed worth the risk tradeoff for users when looking at the strike price and maturity date
  • Key assumption #2 - Requires active management: We believe that users are comfortable making an extra effort to do some degree of active management - enter into strategies repeatedly and manually

📖Content Plan

  • After bringing Craig onboard last month, we’ve doubled down on our content efforts. One of the complaints we’ve heard from folks on our waitlist is that there is a lack of content or information they can read about our product on our blog / site. This is a barrier of trust as potential users are not yet able to do the research they need to do to feel comfortable using the app with real BTC.
  • We’ve since published our first piece with Craig “A Sound Finance Manifesto”
  • TLDR: A call-to-arms + inspirational piece around the need for Bitcoin DeFi (what we're dubbing "sound finance for sound money" - financial services where Bitcoiners retain full transparency and self-sovereignty over their assets.
  • An ELI5 series consisting of layman explainers about how DLC’s and covered calls work is in the pipeline. We’re looking to get this series out as quickly as possible over the next couple of weeks!
  • FAQ in the works: During our usability testing and onboarding calls to date - we've heard a number of questions asked repeatedly. We're planning to spin up an FAQ to address some of these commonly asked questions.
  • We finalized our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy prior to Closed Beta Launch
  • We've completed the brunt of our regulatory research for our product and are just finalizing the memo from our external counsel.

🔮What's next?

Our primary focus in the next month is on internal testing and then onboarding users to the closed beta + making high priority improvements to the product after that.

  • Engineering: Improving the reliability of production environment, adding DLC protocol validation, and adding market maker negotiation functionality
  • Continue onboarding initial users to closed beta and monitoring their behaviour + getting their feedback.
  • Based on user learnings, identify constraints and issues with current product and prioritize next features to alleviate those constraints.
  • Community: Set up Discord and begin engage community there. Transition Telegram group to announcements only.

Best,

Tony

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