I’ve dreaded writing this topic.
Not because I have news that is bad, but because I’m ashamed that it has taken me this long to get back in communication with you all. It hasn’t been that I haven’t wanted to, it’s just that I kept hoping that I would have all of the pieces in place to make it much easier to report the status of the grant’s operations to you all.
“One more day and I should be ready…”
After eight days of uphill battles and missed self-imposed deadlines, I’m looking at another morning and have decided that the best course of action is to manually provide a report and then worry about the automation after that.
This report will be longer than most and I want to address two different things, in addition to providing the current operations overview: challenges that have made reporting difficult, and the state of the first dividend.
I don’t know how many of you have spent time looking at the data that you can get out of the exchanges, but for those of you who haven’t spent hours a week doing it, the best word I can come up with is lacking. The exchanges may be stable and secure, but they are horrible at making it easy to extract the information you need to make it easy to report information.
BTER doesn’t store transaction data farther back than the last 24 hours. They have indicated that they would be finding a way to make archived data available, but with no update in over three weeks, I’m not holding my breath that it will be here soon.
CCEDK’s records are a lot easier to access (they store everything). This is a double-edged sword. For each market that is supported, a separate account is needed. The transactional data that they make available includes all sales information and fees, but it is interspersed between every placement and cancellation of an order. That would be manageable if it was filterable (it isn’t), or if it was just a big table that could be dropped into an Excel spreadsheet (it can’t be, because it’s a paginated list with about 50 records per page). The account that I use to manage the NBT/BTC market has transaction records that cover 2537 pages (at last look). That is just one of the four markets I manage, so you can imagine the challenge in trying to keep up with everything.
There is also the problem of timing. To log into each account, record the current balances and confirm that pricing is correct, and then transfer that information to the reporting template that I created, takes about 30 minutes. By the time I am ready to publish the information, it is already outdated.
Because of this, I have been working with @Ben, @Desrever, @Pennybreak, @CoinGame, @WoollySammoth, and @jmiller to devise a way that custodians can generate near real-time reporting for the shareholders. It has been a priority, and a lot of time has been spent on coming up with a system that does what it is required to do, but it hasn’t been the only priority of the Nu development team so it is slow going at times. We are very close to having it completed and ready to be made available to anyone who is a custodian. I was hoping that it would have been done before I had to write a letter like this – I was wrong.
Finally, reporting has been tedious because we’ve been fighting different problems with the bots, on and off, for the past couple of weeks. The NuBot developers have gone above and beyond to identify and fix any problems that we’ve seen, and with the release of 0.1.3, I feel that we’ve got a very stable product running. The time leading up to this has been rocky, which has made getting access to a consolidated set of logs to report from impossible.
This leads me to the point of conversation that is of the most interest to shareholders — When will the first dividend payment for Period 1 be made?
I’ll probably date myself with this reference, but when I was younger, before the advent of online banking, I kept my cheque ledger by hand. This was fine until I made a mistake, or I missed recording a payment. Once the ledger was off, it could be very time consuming to go back through and locate the mistake and carry forward all of the corrections.
The reporting issues that I’ve been struggling with are like that.
I can tell you that the grant’s operations have been going reasonably well; the fluctuations of the BTC/USD and PPC/USD exchange rates have left the buy walls “exposed” at times, and the “self-buy” defects have cost quite a bit in fees, but both of those are more or less just part of doing business. We can find ways to adapt to address them, like fixing defects and identifying ways to limit arbitrage. However, these challenges have made it very difficult to accurately track the sales volume.
NuBot was designed to allow a custodian to set aside a portion of each sale into a “withholdings” pool. This was originally created to support my grant operations. Unfortunately, at the time that Nu went live, this feature was not ready. I had hoped that I would be able to manually shift funds between accounts on a periodic basis to work around this limitation until the feature was ready. Well, it’s now November 6, and the feature is ready but is still undergoing testing.
What this means is that between the out-of-synch reporting, and the lack of consistent 10% withholdings, I do not have a clear picture of what the sales have been and how far into (or beyond) the Period 1 sales goal operations have been.
The funds have continued to be recycled from the sell walls into the buy walls and back again. I want to stress that nothing is unaccounted for, just that the reporting hasn’t been able to keep up with operations. I could continue to spend time trying to catch up and “correct the cheque ledger” or I can ask for forgiveness and a clean slate.
But what does that really mean?
I want to get back on track. To do so, I would like to ask the Shareholders for feedback on two possible courses of action.
Treat all operations from the 22 of September until this upcoming Saturday, November 8, as a “trial run”. All dual-side sales will be considered part of a (new) “Period 0”. The funds that have been withheld for the dividend to date (currently worth approximately 100 BTC and 20,000 PPC – to be converted fully to PPC) would be distributed to shareholders no later than the 11 of November. This dividend payment is less than the 72,000 NBT equivalent that the Period 1 was supposed to pay out, per the original grant proposal, but is definitely a good portion of what it should be. Starting on the 9 of November, all sales would be considered part of the (new) “Period 1” and would be tracked against the original goal until 72,000 NBT equivalent in dividends were ready to be distributed.
Continue to hold the funds that have been set aside for the Period 1 dividend, while also starting to collect 10% per sale using the NuBot functionality (once it has been fully tested). Once the 72,000 NBT equivalent is reached, consider that the end of “Period 1” even if the actual sales volume to date would far exceed it. Once the dividend payment is made, per the original agreement, we move to Period 2 and continue to track as planned.
I want to make sure that I do what is in the best interests of the Shareholders, and I see pros and cons to each of the options outline above. There may be additional options that the shareholders would like me to consider, so I am going to open the floor to discussion.
Thank you for your patience, and I am vary grateful for the support that I’ve received from the Nu team and other shareholders over the past two months. I promise that I will continue to do all that I can to manage the grant’s operations in an open and (more) transparent manner, and I apologize that it has taken me this long to post on this topic. My pride got in the way and I had continued to hope it would be resolved before this became a necessity – I was wrong.
Writing this wall of text took considerably longer than I anticipated it would and I must be going to a meeting right now, so later this afternoon I will post the operational report for the current balances in orders and in hand.