Rally Report by Jesse

Bitcoin has had an absolutely phenomenal week increasing more than 15%. But, unlike the previous moves seen throughout the rise and fall from $63,000, Bitcoin isn’t bringing anyone else significant along for the ride right now. Ethereum hasn’t moved much all week, and aside from DOGE meme coins and something literally called “Magic Internet Money”, everything has broken their previous Bitcoin correlation in this week’s rally. It’ll be interesting to see how long this will hold for and where profits will be moved if Bitcoin crosses over $63,000 and begins moving to $70,000. Getting into this week’s review, we’ll be looking at a social networking platform, designed to help develop and monetize a creator’s value called Rally.

Introduction

The Rally Network enables creators, artists, celebrities, communities, and brands to launch their own social tokens and NFTs. Rally leverages blockchain technology to offer creator communities a new form of support that removes the need for any third parties. With Rally, creators will be able to issue their own fully customizable, branded cryptocurrency called Creator Coins that represents their unique digital brand to provide value and utility to their fans. Creators will then have access to an easy-to-use blockchain toolkit powered by Creator Coins enabling them to create scarce collectibles, content, and loyalty programs within a healthy tokenized economy. Rally works great as both a fundraising tool for community driver projects to raise capital as well as those who wish to tokenize and monetize their existing community to incentivize moderators, editors and publishers. With no crypto knowledge required to create a Coin, anyone can buy Creator Coins within minutes using just a credit card. With Rallys ability for coins to be integrated into apps across the web, Rally hopes to create endless use possibilities within the creator ecosystem.

Starting out on Rally is extremely easy for anyone. Like most websites, all that’s required to get started is an email address. Users can also choose to sign up using their existing Twitch accounts and streamline the process even further. Rally works just like you might expect it to with the ability to buy Creator Coins in support of your favorite influencers. Just for reference, say, you’d like to support Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Writer of The Guild Actress Felicia Day and her GEEX token. Rally allows you to buy GEEX through your Coinbase Commerce account or a Debit/Credit card. Users can send and receive Creator Coins from each other on the platform as well as convert them into the foundational RLY token. Community Activity Rewards are an incentive designed to reward Creator communities who actively take part in the Rally Network. Communities earn rewards based on activity involving their Creator Coin. When rewards are earned by a community, RLY will be rewarded to the community. For each community that earns rewards, each participant in a community will receive a share of RLY proportional to their holdings of that community’s coin. A system where the creator, as well as fans, directly benefit. When more Creator Coin exists for a specific community when compared to previous amounts, that community will earn a part of those Community Activity Rewards. Simply by owning and holding a community’s Creator Coin, fans can help earn rewards benefiting the Creator and their entire community collectively. The option to create Coins from RLY is of course possible for those wanting to start their own Creator Coin on the network, but this does need the necessary RLY funds to mint your Creator Coins. You can also buy RLY tokens directly using the previously mentioned payment options. Creator Coins each come with their own set of uses and benefits to their holders. These are anything from exclusively created merchandise, private Discord servers, personalized videos, autographs, and weekly raffles. Creators of these tokens are also vesting back into RLY with a percentage of proceeds collected used to buy RLY tokens in support of the platform.

Where it gets a bit tricky is when you want to send RLY tokens from the Rally platform. The experimental feature Rally Bridge allows users to connect RLY tokens between the Ethereum Mainnet and Rally sidechain where RLY can be used to interact with Creator Coins and take part in Rally Creator economies. While still under extensive testing by the developers, Rally Bridge comes with a big caveat for many users, even when it is likely completed and out of the experimental phase. You may be able to use the Bridge in feature, but based on your place of residence, you may be restricted from using Bridge Out, and accordingly, you will be unable to exit RLY from the Rally sidechain. Residents of certain US states and non-US jurisdictions are currently restricted, including New York, Hawaii, Louisiana, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, China, India, Brazil, Russia, and Turkey. Also, residents of any US Sanctioned countries may not use Rally Bridge features. Additionally, participation on the Rally sidechain is subject to compliance requirements that may need you to disclose identifying information and meet KYC/AML compliance before using certain features, including Bridge Out. This, unfortunately, leaves many creators around the world unable to take part in the token’s possible growth within the Rally ecosystem. While the need for compliance is necessary when structured as a business, users choosing to use the Rally Bridge need to be aware of the current state and sidechain deployment as features are subject to change, and there may be limitations on what you can see and do on the sidechain. This means that if you live in any banned region, you could find yourself purchasing Creator Coins and not have any ability to trade back into RLY and send them to an owned address or sell on a DEX.

The Token

Operating to develop this creator-driven platform on the Rally Network is the RLY token. With a max supply of 15 billion RLY minted at genesis, these tokens are set to be released over the course of 8 years. Of the 15 billion, 30% is allocated to the Rally team members and seed investors with 15.3% Seed, 14.2% Team, 0.17% Advisors, and 1% Sidechain Operations. Of the remaining tokens, 50% has been allocated to automated rewards for those contributing to the Rally Network. With 20.4% distributed between the Community Treasury, Liquidity Mining, Future COllaborators, Development and Technical Partnerships, and Creator Partnerships. The     Rally community approved a community treasury fundraise through sales of up to 500M RLY on December 31, 2020. Proceeds from this community treasury fundraise were deposited into the community treasury wallet. Of the total RLY sold for the Community Treasury, over 94% are subject to a 12 to 24-month lockup. Additionally, another $22M USDC raised with a reach of more than 40,000 new overseas users was accomplished through a Coinlist distribution. A total of $57M was raised in January and April 2021 during the project’s funding rounds.

On Rally the token economy is very closely wrapped to the value of the protocol. User-developed “Creator Coins” are explicitly tied into the value of RLY. The relationship between Creator Coins and RLY is defined by a Token Bonding Curve upgraded to V2 that relates to the circulating supply of Creator Coins to its price in RLY. An Automated Market Maker provides continuous liquidity for swaps between Creator Coins and RLY according to this TBC. With an exchange rate between 1 creator coin and 1 RLY showing the relative location of a Creator Coin on the TBC. Yield Delegating Vaults (YDVs) were introduced at the beginning of the project as a key strategy to distribute RLY to those actively contributing to the network and get the community treasury initially funded. But the Rally Network no longer needs separate funding of the community treasury through YDVs, and the risk profile of these Yearn vaults has changed. This caused Rally to retire these YDVs in February 2021. Rally aims to achieve a similar synergy through the RLY token and Creator Coins. Rally token holders are incentivized to inform their social network about the existence and the value proposition of Rally. The value increase in the token doesn’t only benefit direct holders of the token, it also makes the treasury powerful. Rally token holders then decide where the treasury spends the RLY tokens. If the RLY tokens are worth more, the Rally token holders have a larger war chest to promote the Rally network and specific Creator Coins.

The Founders

Making up the Team for Rally Corp is the Core Team Members, Rally Community Ambassadors, and Rally Supporting Team Members. Co-Founder Kevin Chou is the CEO of Rally and currently serving as the Chairman of Forte to realign the economic relationship between players and developers and the Chairman of Gen.G, a new esports enterprise bridging Asia and North America. He’s been honored by Fortune’s 40 under 40, CNN’s Smartest People in Tech, and Business Insider’s Silicon Valley Top 100. Joining him are almost two dozen team members and advisors. As part of the project’s fundraising rounds, they’ve received monetary support from a16z crypto, Coinbase Ventures, Battery, Canaan, Kenetic, 1confirmation, Altos Ventures, SparkLabs, The House Fund, IDEO CoLab, Green Bay Ventures, and Hashed. With private funding from prior Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.

Market Impacts

Rally introduced the RLY token in October 2020 with an initial price of $0.50. With the token launched only on the platform. Outside of YDVs, there wasn’t much liquidity available as Daily Trading Volume hit $5,000 and the token price fell all the way down to $0.05 as a result. This is right around the time the Team at Rally decided to get extra fundraising in January. After which the price of RLY began its first appreciation in price topping out at $1.40 in April 2021 before falling back to its opening price of $0.50 where it currently sits. Notably, this is also shortly before another round of funding was started by the team in late April. It’s unclear if the project used their own Vaults to farm the majority share of RLY before their closing or if the equity being sold was from other areas of allocation. What is clear is that the founders have no shortage of equity to sell off anytime they see fit. This is reflected further in the current Circulating Supply of 300M RLY out of the 15B Total Supply. While there are a good bit of Creators on the platform, it’s not enough, considering how long the project has been in operation with the honeymoon phase over for some time now. In the community, Rally makes regular updates on a weekly basis through its Blog as well as maintaining a less than active Forum. With a little over 8k Discord members and 25k Twitter followers, Rally has remained relatively low on the community’s radar. The Rally contracts have also been audited by PeckShield but the Github development for Rally labeled as “Starcard-org” has not received many updates since its creation.

Concerns

Those of you that have been around long enough to use the Steam Network already know that a tokenized Creator platform is not a new idea. The same struggles are inherent across any decentralized social network platform. In a non-decentralized platform like Rally, those struggles are amplified. Without quality creators and a large audience to monetize, it’s not sustainable. Considering that only this year YouTube was finally able to get high-value assets from Twitch shows that no one is leaving the legacy system “yet”. The failure of Ninja streaming only on Mixer is something not worth risking to the content creators needed to build this type of closed system protocol. To stretch talent out even thinner there are already a half dozen networks like this fighting for dominance like Crea, Sapien, Minds, DTube, and Bitorbit (featured in Airdrops).

Co-Founder Kevin has not only double-dipped into the economics of the platform like most founders by receiving equity as well as earning a yield on that equity through yield vaults. He’s actually managed to triple-dip by developing his own Creator Coin CHOU. Now becoming the fourth-largest market cap coin on the platform. This amounts to nothing more than Kevin gamifying his own platform to further his personal monetary incentives at the expense of others.

Conclusion

While there’s no denying the need for better user-created systems of monetizing a community’s value, I’m having a hard time seeing how Rally can do this effectively and in a manner that is fair and consistent with the values required to provide such a platform. Aside from a few token celebrities on the platform, Rally doesn’t bring any innovative or new to the user experience. I expected something more like Patreon when first hearing about Rally but found something that gives users even less of a lasting impression. While I hope the best for Rally, it’s not something I’ll be looking to take part in or support the buying of Creator Coins. Hopefully, a platform will come along in the future that better understands the needs of its community, instead of what Rally currently amounts to be. A network that only captures value while limiting the ability to extract yours from it.

Until next time, remember that the only guarantee is BTC. So keep stacking that Satoshi.

-Jesse Koz

Follow Jesse on Twitter

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