July 10: Project Update #1 + Eros’ ICO is now live!

Hi folks!

After months of hard work, we’re glad to announce that our Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is now live: https://eros.vision

Since the announcement of this somewhat particular project, we received a lot of attention, messages and emails. We first wanted to say thank you to everyone for the overwhelming support you provided during the past few days.

The idea generated, of course, a lot of scandal due to its controversial nature, but we also received awesome emails from sex workers, punters and crypto-enthusiasts all over the world.

Some of them were particularly hilarious; we wanted to give a special mention to:

Redditors

Steem.it users

….and Youtubers for these excellent posts!

Keep spreading the word!

For this first update, I (Michael) and Kevin will sum up the most interesting questions we received over the past few days, and the responses we sent to them.

Dev

Q: Why did you choose ZeroNet over IPFS for the hosting architecture?

A (Kevin): At this time, IPFS is much more oriented towards media and content delivery, meanwhile ZeroNet is explicitly designed to enable decentralized website hosting, since it includes all the components that constitute the usual web-hosting stack: A database system, a custom implementation of Bittorent to handle both page serving and replication, as well as a decentralized domain name solution thanks to NameCoin, itself based on Bitcoin’s cryptographic features.

Besides this, the IPFS team has a track record of network neutrality infringement, as they seem to be willing to please regulators and authorities of all sorts instead of users. You can, for example, see here how they came up with the idea of a network-wide blacklist to prevent their users from accessing “undesirable” websites that wouldn’t be fit IPFS developers’ moral positions:


Talk about decentralization! Needless to say that it would have been a bad solution for our business case.

Q: What about TOR and its onion sites? Didn’t they already solve censorship resistance?

A (Kevin): No, because:

- TOR onion sites, because of the particular routing system that is powering the network, are notoriously slow and much more complex to scale whenever a specific Tor service reach thousands of users.

- The value proposition of Tor is anonymity, not censorship-resistance. The server behind any of the well-know darknet marketplaces is a totally standard one, although hidden behind a tor node. However, because of this one-server architecture, such onion websites and marketplaces quickly became the favorite targets of law enforcement authorities, as they only need to locate and turn off this unique server to shutdown any of those services.

- Finally, even Tor's main focus is around anonymity (It isn't at Eros as we need the platform to last forever, not to hide identities of human-beings who are going to meet anyway), we also start to see various three letters agencies flooding the Tor network with their very own, malicious nodes. Whenever they manage to setup enough of them, making it more likely for a targeted’s service users to go through those multiple times, they can then very easily “map” the routing circuit and eventually know who’s who by correlating volume and timing information from both entry and exit Tor nodes.

Business

Q: The idea is very cool, finally a real blockchain use case beyond banana tracking or decentralized casinos. However, how are you going to acquire users on both sides?

A (Michael): Good (and though!) question. Two-sided marketplaces are notoriously difficult to bootstrap since you need to have both supply and demand in equal quantities, and starting from day one (otherwise either side isn’t likely to “stick”). However, we’re here building a platform that represents the ultimate alternative for a specific activity that has been experiencing the biggest hurdles among all industries. I personally know several sex workers who jumped from platform to platform, from Backpage to CityVibe, and this every few months or so, as authorities kept cracking down on such platforms. As such, I believe that it won’t be very complex to convince those escorts to finally settle on a platform set to last forever, and this not because of worthless marketing promises, but battle-tested technologies. Regarding buyers, following the ICO, we believe that the Eros Token Holders should constitute a very solid userbase to start with.

Q: Are you going to accept male escorts as well?

A (Michael): There isn’t any technical challenge that would prevent us to do so: male escorts will be welcomed as well. However, since our effort will be oriented towards female escorts as they represent the largest base of sexual workers, most parts of our interface will be accordingly designed, from icons (i.e heels) to represent the escort area to the general branding of the project.

Q: I heard several questions on reddit about the Beaver whitepaper and the fact that you’re going to use the same system. Any comment on that?

A (Kevin/Michael): We initially used several chunks of the original MIT publication (since we implemented them into a practical CoffeeScript application running on Zeronet) that you can see here, without making sure to properly credit the original authors for each of these references.

Upon notification that it wouldn’t be considered to be a fair move towards the researchers, we promptly modified the link on our website, and as you can see right now, full credits are given to the MIT team for the excellent reputation system they came up with and that will represent one of Eros’ three major components alongside our Zeronet-powered decentralized hosting architecture and the autonomous listing+settlements made possible by Ethereum. We’ve nothing to hide about our usage of Beaver’s reputation system and we’re definitely proud to use the MIT’s research findings as a basis for our work : )

Next Steps

  • A live demonstration video of the platform will be published the next week to get initial feedback on the UX and the main booking system.
  • The ICO will run until either (1) July 23rd or (2) the completion of our 9,500,000 Eros tokens sale. In the meantime, make sure to get yours in order to be able to join the private beta we’ll launch in August.

How Can I Help?

  • If you know any large adult-platform owner looking forward to partner with us so that we can get a boost of initial visibility whenever the platform launches, please contact me at michael@eros.vision
  • We’re also looking for three (3) experienced javascript developers in order to work on a remote basis with Kevin as we’ve very tight deadlines to meet, although 85% of the dev has already been done. Please send your resume to Kevin at kevin@eros.vision if you’re interested.

Thanks again for the support you demonstrated so far, and #LetMakeSexGreatGain!