Read below to find out more about our changes and new strategy.
I launched Nuco Networks Inc. in May 2016, with a goal of building a world-class team that would create unique value in the emerging blockchain industry.
I could not have foreseen how far we would come in nearly five years. The market has changed, the team has grown, and I’ve gained experience and perspective.
Along the way, the thesis of our business has had to evolve as we’ve taken in new information from the market, observed competitors building alongside us, and taken note of opportunities that were being unaddressed. Over the years, this has meant a lot of change. And many of you have been here from nearly the beginning.
In launching Aion in 2017, we were exploring a new market opportunity. We approached this strategy with conviction and integrity. Over more than three years, we built novel technology, we interacted with hundreds of companies and developers, we highlighted our ideas and our accomplishments globally, we operated a very robust grant program to incentivize adoption, and we had some early signs of success. In some cases, significant success.
To accomplish this, we built a world-class global team to execute on a challenging technical roadmap, but most importantly, we restructured ourselves to, structurally, be even more aligned with the Aion community. This led us from the privately-held Nuco Networks Inc. to the community-focused Aion Foundation.
We did this voluntarily to lead with integrity, and because our strategy was best served within this structure. We spent three years building a community, and worked to establish meaningful network effects around our technology.
With all these efforts, we couldn’t have foreseen certain market changes. The overall blockchain ecosystem saw an explosion of competitive protocols, with slight points of differentiation, trying to compete for adoption in a market that was slow to attract mainstream users. Aion was among those projects.
This led to an increasingly competitive environment that was being dominated by projects with more established network effects and larger balance sheets. Aion became largely undifferentiated, and we had difficulty attracting high quality adoption that would lead to meaningful long-term traction for our protocol.
There were developments that, despite our best efforts, could not have been foreseen. Looking at the state of the industry today, there are many more dominant players in the increasingly saturated blockchain protocol space.
We’ve obviously made mistakes along the way and we learned a lot, but I look back at our efforts and our approach with a lot of pride. Today, what the biggest protocols are accomplishing cannot be easily replicated.
The Open Foundation has not had success in achieving meaningful adoption of The OAN and Aion. Despite having made significant efforts to attract developers and products to our ecosystem, it has become increasingly clear that this was a losing strategy to develop long-term value in the Aion ecosystem.
We attempted to bolster meaningful adoption by founding Moves, a project that would solve a tangible problem facing real users, and that would also leverage The OAN in order to do so. Our insight, which led us towards building Moves, would not have been possible without the years of learning and experience that we gained working on The OAN. But to maximize our focus and our probability of success, this new direction has not come without difficult decisions.
The main decision is that The OAN and Aion in their current form can no longer be our core priorities, as they are not currently compatible with the design space we’re building in. But we continue to maintain that our community, and its faith in us, are critical to our long-term success. This is why we’re shifting our resources further into Moves, and why we hope you’ll follow along. Members of the Aion community can have a role in the future we’re building.
Moves is exploring new uncharted territory. The addressable market and thesis of building an “ownership economy” for gig workers has generated a lot of excitement in our product. To make this real, our product will be built on a design of token ownership and cryptoeconomics. I can’t overstate how significant this opportunity is. Based on our extensive analysis, the product that unlocks this market thesis will be among the most important tech companies of this decade.
The vision of where we’re going with Moves is the most excited I’ve been since first becoming an entrepreneur. The gig economy’s importance this decade has created an enormous opportunity for us to inject ourselves into an industry in dire need of fresh thinking.
Gig workers will soon make up the largest labor group in the world. A product that stitches them together into an economically aligned community, and provides tools to improve their collective financial health, will help rebalance this market. The size of this opportunity is enormous.
To execute on this vision for Moves, blockchain principles and technology are critical. That said, whether that blockchain will be The OAN and whether that ownership will be represented by Aion are not so clear.
We started building Moves last year with both The OAN and Aion as design priorities. In hindsight, this led to the wrong approach in discovering product-market fit and prioritizing user problems. We’ve now adjusted, and are building Moves from first principles, without being constrained by anything we have previously built.
To be clear though, we’re pursuing this strategy because we believe it to be significantly more important and a much bigger opportunity for us and our community over the long term. Aion may change form, but we’re extremely confident that this will ultimately lead to value for those who continue to support us.
However our product evolves, our priority and accountability will continue to include the community that has gotten us this far. Remember, I am an Aion holder too; besides my own interests, I take my commitments to the community, Aion holders and my employees very seriously. I’ve emphasized honesty and transparency from the beginning. This is when it’s most necessary, although most difficult.
We don’t know exactly how this will play out. That’s the truth.
But here’s what we’re committing to:
In order for our team to have a chance of winning in this new market, we need to focus.
Given this new direction, Moves will be adopting a principle of “designing in the open” by publishing blogs and tweets on our strategy to enable our members, stakeholders and you to follow along on this journey. As such, this will be the last Foundation Report we publish in this format, as we no longer think it accomplishes its original intent, or aligns to our strategy. We will not be doing any regular AMAs, Aion / OAN social updates, or monitoring Telegram.
In order to create value for Aion holders, we’re committed to Moves, and all the effort it will require of us to make it successful. The future is unknown, but we’re excited about what’s next, and we hope you’ll stay with us for the journey.
The Open Application Network is governed by The Open Foundation, a registered not-for-profit organization.