DarcMatter and DARC Blockchain Project Update: Q4 2018

The last few weeks of the year have been jam-packed with lots of exciting developments. We held our second annual DarcMatter Alternatives Conference in Seoul, Korea. We held blockchain community meetups in Shanghai and Seoul. Our co-founders also attended the JIFIC 2018 in Korea, where Natasha Bansgopaul was a keynote speaker along with representatives from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and even a former governor of Korea’s central bank, the Bank of Korea.

Ms. Bansgopaul also received recognition at this year’s Stevie’s, a premier business award that has publicly recognized the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide for the past 16 years. She won Gold in Female Executive of the Year and Silver for Female Entrepreneur of the Year. DarcMatter also placed Bronze in Company of the Year, bringing the total to three Stevie’s on the night. It’s been quite a year for our firebrand co-founder, having also been featured in prominent magazines and news sites.

Our co-founder and CEO, Sang Lee, has also kept himself busy as an industry thought leader. Starting with Sang’s opening presentation at Hashed Night, the latter half of 2018 has involved many conference appearances at United Conference of Internet Money, BlockShow Americas, FN News Conference, and World Blockchain Forum London among others.

Our founding team also was interviewed on the podcast, CryptologyPod.

Of course, individual accolades are not nearly as important as the milestones we celebrate as a team. As a company, DarcMatter celebrated our 4th birthday earlier in November. What started as a startup dream and a small space in a WeWork Labs back in 2014 is becoming a mature multinational business. By continuing to execute on our business goals, now we are a revenue-generating platform business with over 2650 registered LPs, from 62+ countries, with 150+ live investment fund opportunities. This year we’ve also expanded the scope of our fund strategy selections, having added our first blockchain-focused investment fund to the platform.

Since we began our DARC blockchain project, the hard-working DarcMatter team has moved on from a focus on hyper-marketing & fundraising, to full-on BUIDL-ing out of both our ecosystem and the platform that lies at its center. CEO, Sang Lee has the whole team focused on what he calls BHAGs, a term former Stanford professor Jim Collins coined in 2004 to describe bold moves by visionary companies to transform an industry.

That’s what we at DarcMatter are trying to do. “Revolutionizing financial services” is not just an empty catchphrase for us. It is a call to action. We are honored to be able to share with you some news of our progress on various fronts. This press release will offer notes about recent hires, our high-level roadmap, and a market outlook.

DM 2018 Hiring Update

Eugene Hong joined the DarcMatter team in September 2018 as the DarcMatter Product lead, working on both platform and blockchain initiatives. He recently graduated with an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2018. In the past, Mr. Hong has worked with a variety of businesses in roles from corporate strategy to product management in web/mobile business. His strength lies in his in-depth understanding of how value is created and captured.

Nicholas Krapels, who had previously served us in an advisory capacity, has also joined the team as the Managing Director and Blockchain Lead for DarcMatter China. Mr. Krapels is an American writer, educator and investor-entrepreneur who has lived in China since 2011. He teaches business and finance classes at Tongji University and East China Normal University while working towards his PhD on 21st century Chinese monetary policy.

We made these hires with the long term in mind. We believe that Mr. Hong and Mr. Krapels are critical hires in providing the stability necessary to best position DarcMatter for the future and shepherd its development in line with our mission as a fintech company to utilize technology to increase investor access and transparency, while decreasing costs due to inefficiencies. We truly believe that blockchain is the key to taking the financial services industry into a NEW era, and DarcMatter will be leading the charge for alternative investments.

DARC Product Roadmap*

Because DarcMatter is a highly regulated company, we must rigorously audit our code before implementing any of these features. As such, this timeline should not be considered as providing strict deadlines, but rather goals for our future development that will be updated as we continue to progress along our product roadmap.

In Q4 2018, we accomplished tangible progress on our goal of overhauling the UI/UX of the entire DarcMatter platform. We are also well on our way to tailoring the underlying NEM blockchain to optimize for DM. We are also in the testing phase for integration of a software wallet for DARC tokens on the existing platform.

In the first half of 2019, we plan on expanding our wallet capabilities from this simple soft wallet into a DarcWallet platform that provides a portal into the DARC token universe. One of the first functionalities we will be folding into this offering is the ability for GPs and LPs to communicate with each other (DarcMail). Additionally, going forward this modular structure of development will allow us to build a lot of features into this front-end environment. We will brief the community in more specific detail on these capabilities in future press releases.

In today’s update, we would like to highlight the high-level road map that we are currently forecasting for our 2019 product development. Our protocols, products and processes all share the common goal of streamlining the investment and due diligence process in a compliant manner.

2019: Q1 and Q2

  • Platform service innovation by creating an advanced fund profile & further evolving the parameters in the GP/LP matching system
  • Software innovation by developing the “DarcWallet” to facilitate significantly enhanced digital transborder capital transactions via blockchain.
  • Blockchain innovation by feasibility testing the automated storage of digitized contracts
  • Process innovation behind the creation of bespoke hyperlocal legal documents
  • Initiation of escrow and custodial services paid for by DARC tokens

2019: Q3 and Q4

  • Explore potential applications of data analytics and artificial intelligence
  • Build and implement over-the-counter (“OTC”) functionality into the platform
  • Develop a proof-of-concept (“POC”) for advanced digital contract creation on the blockchain, which deploys a bespoke suite of anti-fraud detection tools

We’ll be sharing further detailed updates via our DarcMatter Medium Channel as we have concrete developments to relay to our community.

Although this roadmap encompasses our foreseeable goals at the moment, that does not preclude us from capitalizing on possible ‘quick wins’ we might observe along the way. We are bullish on the potential for blockchain technology to transform moribund investment innovation industry.

DM and DARC 2019 Outlook

Lastly, although blockchain asset prices have been in a severe bear market, we would encourage everyone to heed the great advice of Rudyard Kipling, whose poem implores his sons to “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.” This too shall pass.

Our business strategy has always emphasized the long-term view. With proper risk management and an efficient use of team resources, we have always prioritized our runway to develop the business. Therefore, the team at DarcMatter would like to address the recent swoon in cryptocurrency prices by making a few clear statements.

One: “Don’t worry about us! We’re fine!”

Most of our capital raise was not in cryptocurrency, so we have been able to maintain a significant amount of runway for our company to strive towards its biggest and most audacious goals. Moreover, our current platform business model as of now is largely uncorrelated to the crypto markets.

Two: “Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

These immortal words of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche are words to live by in times like these. We are confident that the blockchain industry as a whole will survive and thrive in the long term. That’s why we began investigating how to incorporate blockchain elements into our platform business way back in 2015. Our mission is to provide transparent direct access to alternative investments to as many investors as we legally can in a compliant fashion. Our 30 employees in 4 offices all over the world continue on that mission every single day from dawn till dusk, which is why we want to leave you with this last imperative.

Three: BUIDL ON!!!

Yours Truly,

The DarcMatter Team

DarcMatter US Team
CEO & President, Sang Lee
CTO, Stan Solodkyy at our Meetup in Seoul, South Korea
CEO, Sang Lee and Managing Director and Blockchain Lead for DarcMatter China, Nicholas Krapels at our China Meetup

*Product roadmap to be updated throughout development.

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DARC is the fuel that drives the Konstellation Network, the infrastructure for the interoperable DeFi capital markets.

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Konstellation Network (DARC)

DARC is the fuel that drives the Konstellation Network, the infrastructure for the interoperable DeFi capital markets.