Vow knowledge base

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General

Vow is issued by a private limited company established on the island of Jersey with registration number 131911. Its registered office address is 50 La Colomberie, St Helier, Jersey, JE2 4QB and it is administered by Zedra Fund Services Limited.

Vow is a free floating, ERC777 compliant token issued on the Ethereum blockchain. It can be traded peer-to-peer or on  supporting crypto exchanges. The initial supply of Vow is 1,142,857,142 and these are issued by Vow Limited. The Vow Token is most accurately described as an enabler for minting a second type of token called vcurrencies. 

Whilst Vow is a free floating token whose value rises and falls with supply and demand, vcurrencies are the fixed value tokens of the Vow ecosystem, for example v£, v$,v€.

Depending on the country in which Vow exists, they can be structured as ERC 777 compliant tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, or as points in a central database.

vcurrencies are issued and accepted with the highest level of decentralization by any business or node on the network.

Their unit value is set by the distributor at point of sale and confirmed on acceptance at the same set value.

vcurrencies are collateralized algorithmically by demand; off-chain by goods and services of the issuer and; on chain by staking a 20% deposit of the free floating governance token Vow.

The limitation of currency issuance to specific, centralized institutions creates well know problems. Unilateral control over the creation of money has contributed to market crashes, asset bubbles and currency crises throughout history.

Decentralization of currency issuance represents a democratization of value creation, in effect distributing the function of issuance from a few parties to a vast portfolio of cooperating entities. In the Vow economy, centralised control is replaced by decentralized governance.

In the case of vcurrencies, issuance is undertaken by a vast network of businesses, merchants or institutional issuers such as governments. Each issues a portion of total circulating supply and each backs their own issuance proportionally.

The core benefit of becoming an issuer of vcurrencies lies in the ability to create liquidity without incurring debt.

Any business can leverage their future sales with the Vow community in order to issue new vcurrency.

A simple vow of accepting any vcurrency they issue back against their own goods and services in the future gives their issuances credibility in the community.

This process of creating additional circulating currency is an exercise of eliminating cash from any given spend cycle. Issuance and acceptance of vcurrencies create a system similar to a closed loop cycle where cash is replaced with vcurrencies. This frees up fiat for other purposes.

Vow

The purpose of Vow is to provide nodes on the network (e.g. businesses) the ability to issue fixed value tokenized currencies called vcurrencies. Merchants purchase a number of Vow Tokens representing 20% of their annual rewards budget. They then lock up this sum as a smart contract deposit on the blockchain, creating vcurrencies worth 5x the deposit value, ready for distribution.

Consequently the depositor can issue their intended rewards to customers as they normally would, however this time denominated in vcurrencies as opposed to fiat cash.

Merchants can unlock their deposit and receive its full value back any time they return all vcurrencies they have issued to the smart contract. This strategy means they will have accepted back from their customers the same value of vcurrencies they originally issued, proving that they honoured their Vow.

In this way, Vow serves as a collateral in the process of replacing cash in any spend cycle. As such, Vow can be applied to any spend cycle as long as the issuer backs their issuance by vowing to accept them back against their goods and services and in addition locks up an additional deposit (20%) of Vow in the smart contract.

Vow tokens are free-floating tokens on the exchanges, whose price is determined by market forces of supply and demand. They make no claim with respect to their price, nor are they intended to facilitate commercial transactions which would necessitate that they exhibit price stability.

As such, there is no central company, government, private party or asset which is required to make the promise of providing a backstop value to Vow tokens at any time

As the ecosystem grows, Vow supply will contract. Businesses joining the network must acquire Vow in order to issue vcurrencies. As the portfolio expands, the circulating supply of tokens is forecasted to decrease.

Any holder of Vow tokens that wishes to spend their equivalent value can do so at any time. Vow tokens can be burned by their holders and thus converted into fixed value vcurrencies that can be used to conduct purchases at participating businesses. Therefore any holder of Vow tokens may also restrict circulating supply at any point.

Both merchants and consumers pursue their own economic interest.Their actions benefit other Vow holders as all their activities are positive with respect to the Vow token price

vcurrencies

vcurrencies serve as a stable unit of currency within the Vow ecosystem. Each unit is backed by its ability to claim an equivalent value in goods and services across the ecosystem, as well as an additional deposit of Vow.

Because the business has vowed to accept back the the total value of vcurrencies they issue, each vcurrency always has a value equal to the local fiat currency.

This means that in a US dollar based market, if a merchant issues $20 of vcurrencies, it will have locked up $4 of Vow tokens in order to issue that amount of vcurrency and at the same time guarantee to accept back the v$20 against their goods and services when the consumer wishes to redeem them.

At the point of redemption, the issuer may unlock and recoup their original Vow deposit.

vcurrencies function in a manner that renders them indistinguishable from digital fiat money. Given their unique characteristics, they can be employed in any capacity to facility trade or financial transactions where price stability is required.

vcurrency will always have a value equal to its domestic fiat equivalent when conducting a commercial transaction at the point of sale within the ecosystem. Whenever a holder of vcurrency wishes to spend their currency at a participating retailer, they will be able to reduce the cost of goods and services acquired, equal to the value of their vcurrency balance. The price of the currency will never fluctuate from parity.

If a user wishes to sell their vcurrency balance for another currency or asset, they may do so at the prevailing market rate. The secondary market value for vcurrencies, just like for any other free exchange market, is not controlled by the issuers. Whoever acquires vcurrencies in the secondary market at the prevailing price will have the ability to spend their vcurrencies at a value par with fiat within the ecosystem.

There is no central company, government, private party or asset which is required to make the promise of providing a backstop value to vcurrencies at any time.

Additionally, there is no company, government or individual which holds an investment asset stated to provide vcurrencies with underlying value, as would be the case with all stable coins. Each vcurrency is also not “almost” linked to a fiat currency, as is the case with some stable coin models.

In contrast to every known stable coin and every known complementary currency, each vcurrency remains precisely stable in price with a definitive backstop value equal 1:1 with local fiat currency in all ecosystem merchants at all times. This is because issuers in the ecosystem vow to accept back each vcurrency against their goods and services at par with local fiat.

Additionally, all issuers lock up in a smart contract, 20% of the value of their issuance as additional security to the ecosystem, over and above their vow to accept them back upon redemption.

vcurrencies are unique in that they are accepted by businesses, there is no asset held or promise made by a central party to maintain their value. In addition they are decentralized in terms of their issuance, acceptance and governance.

The primary economic motivation for a consumer or business to acquire vcurrencies  lies in their ability to spend the acquired currency at par with domestic fiat. If a buyer can purchase vcurrencies at a discount in the secondary market, they will have gained a benefit equivalent to the discount.

In the event the need arises for an ecosystem participant to have fiat cash or to make a purchase that cannot yet be made through the ecosystem, they may choose to convert their existing vcurrency balance to another currency.

Each issuance of vcurrency happens through an issuer in the ecosystem. In order for a coin to enter circulation, the issuer had to have made the required Vow deposit in order to be able to mint coins. Once their Vow deposit has been locked up, vcurrency distribution can commence.

When a consumer makes a purchase at a participating business, their transaction is proof of demand for vcurrencies within the network. Transactions are verified by regulated financial institutions in order to ensure the integrity of the distribution process. Each transaction can trigger distribution of the currency.

All participating merchants within the ecosystem are displayed within the Vow app, as well as partner publisher apps. Any participant may download the necessary applications and search for the nearest location that accepts vcurrency.

Payment with vcurrencies is simple. Once you have downloaded the Vow app or any partner publisher app, you will have acquired a Vow wallet after successful registration. 

You can either collect vcurrencies via shopping at participating retailers and earn vcurrency based rewards or purchase vcurrencies in the app. Either method will result in a positive vcurrency balance in your wallet.

When you visit a participating retailer, you will be able to use your existing balance on your next purchase by simply using the pay button on your app and following the instructions on your phone which will illustrate to you how to scan the retailer’s QR code to complete the transaction.

vcurrencies can be sent between participants by pressing the send button in the Vow app or any associated publisher app. New users you wish to send funds to will be invited to download the app and existing users can be sent vcurrencies for free.

All users have unique Ethereum wallet addresses which they can either send to others as their destination address or present as a QR code for scanning. Once scanned, the sender can complete the transfer.

Solutions claiming to be fiat or asset backed tokens require the acceptor to trust the issuing entity. Belief needs to be maintained that the monies claiming to be held on deposit are in fact there.

In the instance of US dollar backed stablecoins for example, the claim is that for each coin there is an equivalent US dollar held on account to back that specific stablecoin.

Each issuer in the Vow ecosystem backs their coins with a Vow to accept it back against their goods and services as payment at a fixed value, as opposed to a cash security backing it.

Cryptocurrencies are not used for everyday commercial transactions. Stablecoins have not been successful at achieving merchant acceptance either.

Solutions like crypto backed prepaid cards have also fallen short of successfully adding utility to the market, as they convert crypto and deliver fiat to the merchant.

vcurrencies are issued and therefore are accepted by businesses within the ecosystem. It is a currency they create, control and as a consequence, believe in.

Any fiat currency can readily be converted to their vcurrency equivalent and be immediately spent at any participating business within the ecosystem.

However, other asset classes can also gain utility through their conversion to vcurrency. Any holder of crypto can sell their holdings and acquire vcurrencies to spend.

The conversion of alternative currencies into vcurrenices provides new liquidity for participating businesses in a manner that is suitable for trade.

Crypto currencies are known for their volatility. This phenomenon has played a significant role in the prevention of their large-scale adoption by businesses.

Price instability has been mitigated in the Vow ecosystem by ensuring the exchange rate at which vcurrencies are accepted by issuers at the point of sale.

Whilst vcurrencies are saleable in the secondary market between participants at any price, their redemption value will always be at par with their fiat counterpart.

The regulatory environment for stablecoins is in its early stages of development. In many jurisdictions the market is lagging behind with putting the proper controls in place.

Vow does not fall under the newly forming regulatory controls as it does not claim to be a form of money or make any promises to its holder.

vcurrencies, in and of themselves do not represent a unit of value but rather the inverse, a unit of discount against goods and services sold and hence fall outside of such regulations.

Governance

Decision making with respect to the Vow ecosystem and important aspects of its operation are arrived at by token holders. 

Governance therefore is a distributed function allowing participants to manage Vow in a cooperative manner for the long-term benefit of the community.

The Vow governance proposal code will be deployed as a smart contract capable of carrying out any changes to the protocol if voted on by Vow token holders. 

Post token sale, all relevant contracts will have their ownership updated to the address of the governance contract. As such all decisions will be in the control of the Vow community as a whole.

Vow community members will be able to vote by staking their Vow holdings against a proposal initiated by the community. When a community vote is required, the code to run the specific procedure is submitted to the contract and the vote is then opened for community members to engage with.

The governance mechanism is built in such a way that new code to be run is simply submitted and voted on, meaning that multiple parameters and various changes to the operation of the system can be submitted in one proposal to be voted on.

There is no direct financial incentive for voting. 

As a Vow holder you should have incentive enough to participate in votes since your vote will influence the direction of the network. 

Any Vow token holder acting in their own self-interest, should participate in votes to steer decisions in the direction they believe maximises the utility of the network and the underlying value of Vow.

The nature of carrying out decentralised voting is complex and certain procedures have to be followed to ensure votes remain secret until the vote concludes. 

Because of this, each new proposal has a Lobbying Phase, Voting Phase and Reveal Phase. There are defined intervals in which certain interactions can take place to carry out the full vote.

In Phase 0: the Setup Phase, anyone can propose a vote. Doing so requires putting up a deposit in Vow. Once the vote completes, this deposit is returned to the creator irrespective of the outcome.

Setting up a vote involves submitting the description (describing what the vote is about), adding up to 4 options that can be voted for and finalising the vote by specifying the start of the Lobbying Phase and an interval for how long the Voting Phase should be.

In Phase 1: the Lobbying Phase, lasts for double the Voting Phase (i.e. 2 x the finalised interval length, so the minimum is 2 weeks). Nothing happens on-chain during this time. This period is intended to give the community time to discuss proposals and lobby for the various options.

Once Phase 2: the Voting Phase begins and any Vow holder can cast their vote. Once a vote is cast it cannot be changed.

The vote is Vow weighted to prevent sybil attacks and to ensure that those with the most exposure get a proportional say in any major vote.

All data on a blockchain is publicly visible, which presents a problem, however participants only submit an obscured vote (i.e. the hash of the signature corresponding to the voters public key of the option voted on) to circumvent this issue.

Before Phase 3: the Revealing Phase begins, voters need to transfer the Vow stake they wish to count towards the tally, to a lock contract. 

Once the Reveal Phase starts, all voters’ funds are locked until the vote is revealed. Note: locked means no funds can be deposited or withdrawn from the lock contract so it is important to get as much Vow as desired into the lock contract before the reveal period. 

Since revealing a vote is entirely in the control of the voter, their immediate usage is never impaired, unlike some of the voting designs of other tokens.

Revealing a vote is done by submitting the option voted on and the signature thereof. 

The smart contract hashes the signature and checks that it is the same as that submitted during the voting phase and that it is from the appropriate public key. 

Once verified, the amount of Vow in the lock contract is added to the tally for the specified option and the lock on the Vow is released so the voter can withdraw their funds again if desired (however if the voter intends to repeatedly vote they may leave it until needed).

Phase 4: the Result Phase, begins after the conclusion of the Reveal Phase and the result is known. 

Note: revealing votes is still possible even after the Reveal Phase has ended, since funds remain locked indefinitely if a vote is cast, to incentivise users to vote only if they actually intend on participating.

Yes. All votes are equal.

Vow Apps

Vow Lite Wallet is application available for free on the Apple and Android app stores. Its main purpose is to function as a safe storage wallet for Vow tokens or vcurrencies. It also allows its owner to send and receive between ecosystem participants.

Through its technology partnerships, including Single.id, Vow enables companies from any sector with large customer bases, such as banks, insurers and loyalty business to enrol their users and participate in the benefits of the ecosystem.

We term such companies “Publishers” collectively. The reason for the name is because they publish information and offers about Vow and Vow Partner Merchants to their user base.

Publishers can integrate Vow currency into their existing apps using a comprehensive suite of APIs. Alternatively, white label websites and brand-able apps are waiting to be implemented.  

Vow partners can also provide comprehensive loyalty programmes if required. All solutions integrate the same functionality of send and receive as is available to Vow Lite Wallet users within their existing mobile applications.

Vow can only be accessed by using an Ethereum wallet address. Tokens may only be transferred by a person in possession of their respective private key(s). 

Vow holders acknowledge, understand and accept that if their private key(s) becomes lost or stolen, the Tokens associated with such private key(s) will likely be unrecoverable and permanently lost. 

In addition, any third party that gains access to a Tokenholder’s private key(s), including by gaining access to the login credentials relating to the wallet, may be able to misappropriate the Tokenholder’s Tokens. 

Any errors or malfunctions caused by or otherwise related to the digital wallets or vaults to which Tokenholders choose to receive the Tokens or in which Tokenholders choose to store the Tokens, including a Tokenholder’s own failure to properly maintain, update, backup or use such digital wallet or vault, may also result in the loss of a Tokenholder’s Tokens.

The wallet or wallet service provider used to receive Tokens must conform to the relevant Ethereum token standard in order to be technically compatible with Tokens. 

The failure to ensure such conformity may have the result that that Tokenholder will not gain access to his Tokens or may lose access to his Tokens.

The smart contract system concept, the underlying software application and software platform (i.e. the Ethereum blockchain) may be exposed to attacks by hackers or other individuals including, but not limited to, malware attacks, denial of service attacks, consensus-based attacks, Sybil attacks, smurfing and spoofing. 

Any such successful attacks could result in theft or loss of contributions or Tokens, adversely impacting the ability to develop the Tokens and derive any usage or functionality from the Tokens. 

Tokenholders must take appropriate steps to satisfy themselves of the integrity and veracity of relevant websites, systems and communications. 

Furthermore, because Vow is based on open-source software, there is a risk that a third party or a member of the Issuer’s team may intentionally or unintentionally introduce weaknesses or defects into the core infrastructure of Vow, which could negatively affect Vow and the Tokens.

Token Sale

During Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Token sale (see the table below), the minimum investment shall be 2,000 Tokens, however it is anticipated that the average purchase is expected to be the crypto equivalent of approximately US$1,000. There is no minimum purchase during the IEO stage (i.e. from Stage 3 onwards).

As is common in initial exchange offerings, the price of a Token will increase during each stage of the IEO and is designed to encourage early participation (please see the Vow Token Sale Paper for further details):

Prior to stage 2 of the IEO, there is a non-refundable stage 1 sale of 67,000,009 Tokens and a free allocation to various stakeholders in the ecosystems of 254,371,428 tokens, which will be used to incentivise their participation and recruit early stage merchants to the ecosystem.

Prior to purchasing Tokens, AML/CFT checks will be conducted on prospective purchasers via a third-party AML verification provider, namely Jumio.

The Issuer may also run an AML/CFT analysis (provided by a third party) on an applicant’s blockchain history and may, order a more in-depth report should the initial analysis reveal any potential issues, or if the applicant is subscribing for a large number of Tokens.

Tokens will not be issued to an applicant until that applicant has undergone AML/CFT checks. If the applicant fails to pass the AML/CFT checks, the applicant’s funds will not be accepted or will be returned to them.

Any Tokens issued to ecosystem partners during the Token sale will be incapable of transfer (“Locked“) for a period of 12 months (unless such Tokens are issued to provide initial liquidity or to incentivise merchant recruitment in local ecosystems, or the Directors otherwise exercise their discretion to remove or reduce the extent of this restriction). 

Tokens issued during the Private Pre-Sale Stage (as set out at paragraph 5.4 of the Information Memorandum) will be Locked for a period of 6 months following the end of the Private Pre-Sale Stage. Tokens issued during the Public Pre-Sale Stage will not be Locked.

Phase 1 of the Private Token Sale Offer Period is anticipated to:

  • open at 00:01 BST on 1st December 2020; and

remain open until such time as nominated by the Directors.

Once this Stage 1 is closed,  if the Directors so decide then a  Stage 2 IEO will begin on such exchange as notified by the Directors at that time.

The minimum amount required to be raised by the  is US$1,000,000 from the maximum target of $32,000,000. 

IEO funds are planned at this time to be used in the following way (please see the Vow Token Sale Paper for further information):

  • Marketing – an estimated 14% of the IEO proceeds will be directed towards marketing including, but not limited to:
    • (i) digital advertising (an estimated 7% of total IEO proceeds); and
    • (ii) bounty programme (an estimated 7% of total IEO proceeds).
  • Platform Development – an estimated 25% of the IEO proceeds will be used to support the ongoing development of the Vow platform itself, including contracting with a development team with experience of building similar software and one dedicated to advancing the uses of blockchain into fintech. The Issuer will use a leading blockchain expert to hire a Jersey based team who can deliver the platform. The detailed specification of the Vow platform will be determined based on the amount raised during the IEO.
  • Operational Expenses – an estimated 6% of the IEO proceeds will be spent on the operational expenses of the Issuer.
  • Advisors and Consultants – an estimated 7.5% of the IEO proceeds will be spent on paying the Issuer’s ongoing advisors and consultants and management team.
  • Founders and Early Participants – an estimated 7.5% of the IEO proceeds will be allocated to the founders of, and early participants in, the Issuer and the IEO, including the Directors, as compensation for time spent in the build up to the IEO.
  • Strategic Investments – 40% of all funds raised will be allocated towards attracting institutional deals which further the ecosystem’s global footprint and incentives which attract new ecosystem participants.

The Privacy Notice confirming how personal information is collected, processed and disclosed by the Issuer, together with a Tokenholder’s rights under (i) the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) and any national law issued under that regulation; and (ii) the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 and any other legislation in Jersey concerning data protection, as amended from time to time is included at Appendix 1 to the Information Memorandum.

It is the responsibility of all prospective Tokenholders to inform themselves as to any tax consequences arising from their purchase of any Tokens and the Issuer’s operations or management, as well as any foreign exchange or other fiscal or legal restrictions, which are relevant to their particular circumstances in connection with the acquisition, holding or disposition of the Tokens.

The tax characterisation of the Tokens is uncertain, and each Tokenholder must seek its own tax advice in connection with a purchase of Tokens which may result in adverse tax consequences to Tokenholders, including withholding taxes, income taxes and tax reporting requirements. 

Each Tokenholder should consult with and must rely upon the advice of its own professional tax advisors with respect to the treatment of any purchase of the Tokens and the rights contained therein.

The Auditor of the Issuer is BDO Limited, a company incorporated in Jersey on 1 August 2009, with company number 103834 and whose registered office address is at Windward House, La Route de la Liberation, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1BG.

The Auditor’s principal responsibilities are to audit and express an opinion on the financial statements of the Issuer in accordance with applicable law and accounting standards.