I launched the token and immediately after people started messaging me. I received messages on Twitter and Discord with people asking me about if the token that I just deployed was the project I was working on.
I thought about all of the new projects that were coming into the blockchain ecosystem. A lot of the successful projects were doing “fair” launches. Implying that the community had a “fair” chance of investing or being a part of the project right when it launches.
I told everyone that messaged me that the project was indeed the one I was working on. Not soon after, I received an invite to a new Discord channel and new Telegram channel. The two channels were created for the token I just launched. People that I’ve never met / seen / heard from started joining the group. They were all wondering how to get involved with the project.
At this point, if we refer back to list that I was working with for this project, I was all over the place.
Launch the smart contracts
Release the website for people to interact with the smart contracts
Create a Twitter
Message the community members that had expressed interest
Write a blog about the project’s goals and publish it
I was hoping that I would complete steps 1 through 5 before reaching out to the community and asking them to get involved. However, the keen community was already a few steps ahead of me.
Regardless, I got to work on the other four tasks. I created a Twitter, set up a website where people can interact with the smart contracts of the token, and started working on a blog. It took a few days, but all in all, I was able to get these outputs to the community that was following the project closely.
It was an exciting launch because within the first 24 hours, there was almost $100K USD invested into the project from people around the world. In the next 12 hours after that, the project peaked with $180K USD.
Peaked? Why did it stop there? Normally when things are growing (at what seemed like an exponential rate), it doesn’t slow down that quickly.
Someone found an exploit with the smart contracts.
Based on how I configured the smart contracts for the token, there was an exploit that allowed someone to drain approximately $10K USD every 2 hours from the project. Another configuration of the token had a lot of people locked into the token smart contracts while the exploit was taking place. All of us were held hostage to the person exploiting the project.
It was a difficult time for the project. Two days after the launch and a lot of optimism, we started receiving a lot of criticism for how the exploit was being handled. Quickly, I realized that a lot of people needed someone to blame for the exploit and the team deployed the token (my colleague and I) became scapegoats.
This brought the experimental project to a quick end. The exploiter managed to steal a lot of the funds that a lot of people locked into the project. Though the community and I were deeply saddened, I was motivated by the new lessons that I learned as a result of taking a stab at token project.
There are five key lessons that the team I worked with learned during this entire process.
Have everything figured out before you launch your smart contracts (e.g. communication plans, economics, front-end application, etc.)
Test your smart contracts on Ropsten (or something similar) and get your code audited by smart contract specialists and people who understand macro-economics
If you use open source code try to make it unique to your project
Prepare more assets pre-launch for momentum (Front-end, thought pieces etc.)
Communication is key