Ask Me Anything with Flycoin at ICOSpeaks: AMA Summary
May 18-th held an Ask Me Anything session at ICOSpeaks telegram chat. From the Flycoin side there was:
Before we go to the first set of questions, could you please do a short self-intro?
👨💻Lenny Moon , @lennymoon CEO
I’m CEO of Flycoin, which I’ll talk more about in a little bit. We just closed a $33 million Seed round in January 2022 from some VCs, tech entrepreneurs, and crypto-pioneers as lead investors.
I’ve been in the tech start-up space for over 20 years. I was an early team member of a Softbank funded company in 2000, and then spent several years on Wall Street as an investment banker, and then returned back to tech start-ups where I helped grow out various companies, including earlier Fintech companies.
I then joined as CEO of Flycoin in August 2022 when we were just starting some of the original concept and strategy.
Let’s get started!
Q: What is flycoin?
A: So, Flycoin is a travel rewards cryptocurrency company, where we have minted a fixed supply of our own token, ‘FLY’. Initial mint as an ERC-20, but have since bridged a small portion to Polygon…
Flycoin forms partnerships with companies in the broader and travel & hospitality space (so not just airlines) where FLY is the token that our partners’ customers can earn as their rewards. Our partners have the option to have FLY either be the only reward that their customers can earn, or as another option to its already existing reward program….
In addition, because many of these travel & hospitality companies do not have the internal tech know-how or the comfort level to move into crypto, Flycoin is also helping them with the broader solution of integrating FLY into their copmany’s platform as well as help manage the backend workflow on an ongoing basis….
so we like to say we are also providing “crypto-rewards as a service”. Though we want to maintain that FLY is the defact reward, we are focused on growing and building the FLY ecosystem to help create more value for the token….
The companies can still maintain how they want to manage elite status, and the marketing around their programs, and depending on the ability of their internal engineering team, they can work with us to handle more of the back-end, but many of them don’t want to touch this…
In terms of the value we provide, many people already view travel rewards as a currency in their mind, so it is not a significant leap forward to make it a digital coin, which is why its a great use case. The travel rewards industry hasn’t really changed too much in the past few decades, and still kind of suck. Issuer can still control expiration, conversion ratios, transferability, and when it is time to redeem, they limit the options of how you can redeem them.
The inspiration originally came from our lead investor and Board Chairman, Josh Jones, who was an early bitcoin pioneer and got into bitcoin mining in 2010, and then a couple of years later, he created one of the first bitcoin exchanges in 2012….
Q: What inspired you to create Flycoin?
A: The inspiration originally came from our lead investor and Board Chairman, Josh Jones, who was an early bitcoin pioneer and got into bitcoin mining in 2010, and then a couple of years later, he created one of the first bitcoin exchanges in 2012….
Because he’s been in crypto for 12 years and he’s always innovating, he had thought of earlier versions of Flycoin over the years..then a couple of years ago, he was the primary backer behind acquiring an airline in Alaska….
This led to relooking at travel rewards in general, which then started Flycoin. I then got involved earlier in the concept stage to help grow out the company, etc.
Ready to answer the next question!
Q: Can you tell us about the team behind Flycoin?
A: Yes, so at the senior level, in addition to me, we have Tom Hsieh, who is Co-Founder and President. Tom comes from the tech industry. He was an early employee of Earthlink (who still remembers Earthlink?!), but he helped grow out their engineering team from 10 to over 450, through its IPO….then there’s
Nate Daiger, who is CTO. Nate has deep experience starting and building out the core technology teams for various companies. He’s been a founder, CTO, but he also has deep crypto experience, having helped build out one of the first crypto-to-crypto exchanges about 10 years ago with Josh…then more about Josh…
Josh, prior to getting into crypto, was the co-founder of Dreamhost, a web hosting company that he started in college in the 1990s while still a computer science major at Harvey Mudd….
Overall, after that, Flycoin, is comprised mainly of developers and some product dev folks.
Q: Have you already created any strategic partners?
A: Yes! We have already publicly announced partnerships with Ravn Alaska (the regional airline with shared ownership). BTW, they are the airline that would take the crew of The Deadliest Catch (reality show) to Dutch Harbor…similarly, we also have one with Northern Pacific, which is a transpacific airline connecting the lower 48 to Asia. Its first flights will launch at the end of this year…we’ve also announced
a partnership with Thanks Again, which is an airport loyalty program that has partnerships with over 100 U.S. airports, so you can spend at most of the major and regional airports in the U.S. to eventually earn FLY….
We also have some exciting partnerships in the immediate works, that we’ll be excited to announce in the coming months – and we have an additional and steady pipeline of companies behind that. Many of these companies span the entire spectrum of the travel and hospitality industry.
And what’s great is that as we get each partnership online, many of their customers will immediately earn FLY, and some of these companies have millions of customers. So we’ll be bringing a new base of people who aren’t crypto-savvy into understanding more about crypto.
Q: When will people be able to use/earn Fly? What will they be able to use Fly for?
A: So on the earning side, customers of Ravn have already started earning FLY as it is the defact rewards for that airline (about 300K individuals). We are half way through integrating with Thanks Again, so sometime in Q3 for Thanks Again customers, and then NP will launch in Q4…..
And we are launching a debit/prepaid card (credit card sometime later), where people can earn just by spending anywhere….
On the redeeming side (separate from trading on exchanges), each of our current and future partners also agree to accept redeeming FLY as well, so for flights, hotels, tours, etc.
Quick additional point….
Another reason why our current partners are excited as more companies come on line, is that it helps create sort of an alliance (without the need for agreements in between each company) because FLY is the unifying currency.
Q: How does flycoin work and how does it differ from other rewards programs? Why did you decide to build it on this blockchain?
A: So, the travel and hospitality industry has a long history with rewards programs, but except for the concept of elite status, the innovation in moving it forward to be more customer-centric has been stalled….
Traditional travel companies are not super comfortable with change and innovation, which is why they feel you need to reward customer loyalty by forcing your customers back to redeeming on your platform…this may have made sense in prior iterations of rewards…
But we think that if you provide a reward to your customer that they own, that they can immediately benefit from without needing to hit certain thresholds, and give the customer more optionality, then that is a more customer centric approach – and many travel companies are not thinking about it in that way….
This is one of the ways we differ from other travel rewards programs, by giving the customer more freedom with the rewards they earn. And what’s exciting is that more travel companies we are speaking are catching on…they don’t want to get off guard with how companies like Airbnb and VRBO changed an industry….
We decided to initially mint as an ERC-20 token because it was more easily adopted by some of the centralized exchanges we were speaking to early in the process, but we have already bridged some to Polygon, and may have more of Polygon strategy going forward as well.
Q: What is your team doing to ensure the project is successful?
A: What’s nice is that this not about a singular token…It is about growing the entire Flycoin ecosystem, where as we bring in more companies, they help distribute FLY to their customers as they earn, which then distributes FLY as widely and globally as possible.
This provides a firmer foundation for the ecosystem and longevity of what we are doing.
As we grow, we are also not increasing distribution, but increasing utility and the number of transactions with how FLY can be earned and redeemed.
Another reason why doing this for the travel and hospitality industry is great, because their customers are widely distributed and travel throughout the world, spending money (earning and redeeming).
Q: What is your most important next priority according to the project roadmap?
A: We are focused on adding partnerships with these companies. We are now focused on companies with a widely distributed customer base, ideally globally distributed, and we have a few in the immediate works, that we hope to announce in Q3. Then we have to get them integrated and onboarded. As I mentioned before, we have a great pipeline behind tha to. And the mix of companies is interesting, we have a wine company, an airline, another rewards platform, and we are speaking to some cities as well!
Q: Revenue is an important aspect for all projects to survive and maintain the project/company. How have you been able to build a complete project and what is the way to generate profit/revenue of the token? What is the income model?
A: Yes, income model is companies are buying the token and the platform service, but we also benefit from the growth of the token.
ICOSpeaks hosted an AMA Session with the Flycoin Team. That’s all for today.
Thanks to all users who participated.
Thanks, Flycoin for being with us
Thanks, all and see you soon😉
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