1. As we all know, ETH fees can be volatile and even extortionate. On what chain is the plug-in going to transact?
We believe ETH’s proof of stake and sharding implementations will go a long way to alleviate volatile and extortionate fees. For the time being, Solomon’s chargeback system isn’t going to make a lot of sense for transactions under a few hundred USD, though it can still be useful for larger escrow contracts and high value purchases. We are very interested in supporting multiple currencies, but unfortunately there isn’t a clear winner yet in terms of which chain will be the standard for online and point of sale merchant transactions.
We’re keeping an eye on a few chains, and plan to choose one or more to include as payment options in the Solomon plugin, but want to be careful we don’t waste effort supporting a dead-end currency. In no particular order, we’re currently looking at Avalanche, Solana, Cardano, Algorand, Flow, and Klaytn. We’re also exploring newer layer 2 solutions on ETH such as ImmutableX, which could make sense for certain Solomon payment flows.
2. As we can see today, many people don’t really care about Web3, even though Web3 is important so that anyone can access it easily. Then how do you handle your Web3? I see that your wallet is under development. To make NFT browsing easier and make DeFi more accessible to everyone, So what do you plan to do to improve user experience and make your platform easy to use?
Great question, and something we’re always thinking about! On Ethereum, we’re trying to do our part to help modernize the development ecosystem. We’ve put together a working system using Hardhat, Ethersjs, and Vue3/Vite that reduces a lot of bloat (for faster UX), makes blockchain access more stable, and supports a variety of blockchain access methods. This isn’t necessarily unique in the world of Ethereum Dapps, but since we open source everything, we’re hoping to help push the status quo forward.
In terms of more specific UX improvements, we’re looking into a few different integrations. We think Blocto wallet (https://blocto.portto.io/) is really promising — since it supports both custodial and non-custodial modes, it enables users to enter the blockchain world very quickly, and then easily migrate to a decentralized wallet whenever they choose to do so.
3. How will users connect with the plug in? will they use metamask?
We’re initially supporting Metamask, WalletConnect, and possibly Blocto. However, the wallet integration code is very flexible and we’ll be able to quickly integrate connection methods as needed/requested. Once the first iteration of the plugin is done, we’ll also support community contributions and recommendations for connection methods.
4. How will the process to onboard new merchants work, and will they be using the Solomon app only,? They will need to turn crypto to fiat at some point, will this be facilitated by Solomon in anyway, or will they need to use CEXs.
Initially, onboarding will be done via direct integration via NPM, for example a site build with react will be able to “npm install @solomon/plugin”, and then follow simple instructions for initializing the plugin. They’ll need to have a crypto wallet set up for each currency they want to support, though we’re planning to make this much simpler through Blocto and other integrations. We will also provide builds and instructions for adding the plugin to popular merchant platforms, though this will take some time to mature.
Helping merchants turn crypto into fiat is important to us, but it won’t be supported at first. We need to demonstrate a functional MVP first in order to lock down a partnership with an offramp provider that doesn’t charge exorbitant fees. This will definitely be on the roadmap, though. We’ll add some milestones to the Github monorepo soon to help give better insight into these kinds of features, and what their dependencies are.
6. What is your customer acquisition strategy?
Fortunately, the Solomon plugin is a perfect solution for macro trends in E-commerce as more and more merchants are desiring solutions for accepting cryptocurrency payments, especially with the rise in popularity of NFTs. We believe there is a lot of pent up demand for accepting crypto that is waiting for a solution like Solomon. The key will be to deliver a high quality product and then market it effectively to get it in front of the right people. We have an early list of merchants who have expressed interest in the plugin that may be an effective early testing ground. In addition, we will recruit influencers and use paid marketing and PR in order to get the word out to a mainstream audience. Once merchants begin to see success, word of mouth will be an effective tool as well.
7: What are the barriers to adoption that you see?
While not a complete list, key possible barriers are as follows: High gas fees or instability in cryptocurrency markets can slow down demand for the plugin. Merchants may be hesitant to try new products. Competitors may cut into market share. Unexpected government regulation may impact the industry. Macro changes to the industry and economy as a whole may affect demand. Merchants may have changing or unknown needs that are not satisfied.
The team will address to reduce these risks to the greatest extent possible under our control. As answered earlier, new technological developments will be followed and evaluated to improve usability and avoid high gas fees. A clear value proposition and need in the market will help convince merchants to try the product for their business. The team will keep a close eye on macro trends in the economy and in policy to make sure we are ready to pivot as needed and create a product that is suitable for a wide variety of merchants with different needs and stages. And the team will be ready to make adjustments and improvements to the product to make sure it remains relevant and profitable over time.
7: What can the community do that would most contribute to the success of the Solomon project?
The most valuable activity the community can do to help the project is to continue to create great word of mouth. The project has been made possible to this point due to the great community and the positive public perception you have generated. Remaining active on Twitter especially, and helping new users in our Telegram community to understand the benefits of the project will go a long way in helping the project gain exposure and ultimately, usage.
8: Why was the roadmap delayed so much in spite of the raised funds?
The most important thing is to execute the project properly and create a high-quality product that will provide value to merchants and users. Unfortunately delays happen sometimes in product development but we are doing our best to roll with it and make sure the remaining roadmap is executed faithfully. To demonstrate our commitment, we have continued to lock a large amount of funds in the liquidity pool until the promise of delivering the Solomon plugin is satisfied.
9: Could you describe what the value proposition and incentives are for merchants to use Solomon?
In short, the current financial system is overly exclusive and centralized. Profit-driven institutions enforce onerous and often arbitrary rules, hurting smaller sellers.
Sellers are at the mercy of these institutions, otherwise they are unable to accept payments and earn a living. In the best case scenario, sellers put up with high fees, slow payment terms, demanding cash deposits, and chargeback penalties. Worst case, they are excluded from banks and cannot open an account at all, or they are dropped without warning due to rules that favor larger sellers.
The Solomon Plugin is an easy-to-use software tool that allows entrepreneurs to accept cryptocurrency payments for their businesses. Any business can implement the plugin on their sites with only a few lines of code, and consumers and merchants will be protected equally and fairly.
Immediately they will be able to accept payments from around the world and at significantly lower cost than the traditional 3–5% taken by credit card processors. The fee is further reduced if paid by the merchant in a native token called the Solomon token (SLM). Users locked out of traditional access to major ecommerce platforms can now easily incorporate payment processing on their websites without difficulty.
10: Could you explain how the escrow mechanism for retail transaction? What needs to take place for funds to be released to the the retailer and can this be abused by the buyer?
Funds will be released automatically to the retailer without issue in the normal case. If the buyer makes a claim that the retailer has acted in bad faith, they may submit evidence to an anonymous and impartial jury of Solomon stakers who are financially incentivized to reach a consensus based on the truth of what happened. Buyers will be extremely hard pressed to cheat the system because 1. these jurors have a financial stake in the platform that will be at-risk if they vote in bad faith, 2. buyers do not know who the jurors are and cannot communicate with them in order to collude, 3. jurors are equally in the dark about the other jurors and cannot collude, and 4. jurors are incentivized to act correctly rather than help the buyer because their own money is at stake.
For a more detailed, please begin reading on page 12 of the Solomon white paper: https://solomondefi.com/Whitepaper_Solomon_201218.pdf
This DRAFT contains forward-looking statements or information (collectively “forward-looking statements”) that relate to current expectations and views of future events. In some cases, these forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” “is/are likely to” or the negative of these terms, or other similar expressions. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this DRAFT are based upon what the Solomon Project believes are reasonable assumptions, these risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors could cause actual results, performance, achievements, and experience to differ materially from its expectations expressed, implied, or perceived in forward-looking statements. Given such risks, prospective participants with the Solomon Project should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.