We've started working on this project in the fall of 2017. The idea came up even before that, when Daniel attended courses at University of Dresden.
After years of trying different things, having some achievements and some failures, our journey seems to be very close to the end.
After receiving some cryptocurrency support from the community in exchange of HELP Tokens, we promoted our project hoping to grow the community. We've invested almost all our funds in marketing, hoping that our project and our team will grow.
However, the year 2018 was a really bad year for the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. The price of BTC and ETH dropped almost 90%, which made it very hard for us to sustain ourselves. Even though we didn't have funds, we've invested our time and energy hoping for the best.
In June 2018, after successfully distributing HELP tokens to our supporters, we've managed to get listed on a very popular exchange at that time, Mercatox. After paying the listing fee, our budget was almost finished. However, this was a very important step for the project, because our initial supporters got the chance to trade the token. New supporters also joined our community, and things were looking better.
After trying a lot of different approaches to please our community, things started to move in a positive direction. With the help of some influencers that believed in our project, we managed to create and implement a business growth strategy. We've received recognition for our work by being listed on Coinmarketcap.
The results came pretty quickly, and the price of HELP increased significantly, making our supporters profitable.
We've continued to make several mini-projects in order to keep the momentum: we've been listed to another exchanged, organized several token burn events to prevent inflation and also participated in live startup events in our local community.
Because we wanted to respect our initial roadmap, we've invested a lot of time and energy into the blockchain migration. We've implemented our own version of blockchain, which had Masternodes and Mining.
In all this time, we've been exploring different ways for our humanitarian fundraising platform to work. We've released several alpha and beta version of the app, and we've also updated our presentation website. After the new blockchain was released, we've successfully organized the migration token swap, in which users who earlier had the ERC20 tokens received the new HELP coins.
The year 2019 made us realize that we should focus a lot more on the product than on the blockchain area, so we tried to received EU funding, since the cryptocurrency market was pretty much dead.
We've received some validation from the local community, and in parallel we were trying to keep the cryptocurrency part alive by organizing airdrops and competitions.
We've released our beta version of the MVP and tried really hard to attract customers (NGOs and donors) to our platform.
After successfully helping Bethany NGO to raise money, we thought things are going in the right direction. However, we still couldn't monetize the project. We've continued to invest time, energy and money from our own resources and we participated to Romanian Blockchain Summit
We kept trying to get investment, support and customers, so we went to Armenia to a Startup Event, but our project didn't receive investment.
When our personal funds ran out, we've done some cost optimization and migrated to DigitalOcean (from AWS). But after 2 years of working and not being able to monetize our work, the motivation slowly started to fade.
The issue is mostly financial at the moment, amplified by the current context of the pandemic that we think it will result in a recession, which will be more visible in the next couple of months. We have a lot of resources up & running (databases, caches, streaming queues, virtual machines), that cost money and are estimated to run off by June/July.
Also as a side note, we were working on pivoting to a new business model that would allow us to continue, but it's not realistic given the time we are in now.
The crypto market is on the red for the last 2 years and we didn't got any kind of new investment in the last year, to help us pay our salaries, so it was kind of a pro-bono work that we did, which we really enjoyed but we don't see any money coming in soon.
We enjoy working on the product and in the blockchain space, but we also have to pay for rent, food and other stuff. It isn't feasible anymore for us to do this, since the funds for salaries run out, and like we previously mentioned, the cloud hosting will expire soon in June/July.
We need to be realistic and accept when the journey's coming to an end...
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