In 2017, we started RefToken as an ambitious project to revolutionize how Affiliate marketing was working. After working in the industry we saw how Affiliates were sending fake-traffic and companies refused to pay out affiliates due to tracking issues. Perfect opportunity to utilize blockchain to secure a deal and automatize payments through smart contracts on Ethereum.
In 2018 we also launched ICOMalta, the idea was that we could use the money generated through ICOMalta to increase the funding for RefToken as well as get clients to sign up on the RefToken platform. We managed to tie the platform we built for token sales directly integrated with the reftoken platform, so affiliate referral-campaigns could be launched and automatically pay out affiliates when using the token sale platform.
ICOMalta quickly grew and we were able to fund the whole RefToken development, we launched RefToken in April 2019. Sadly the cryptocurrency market had been crashing for over a year and continued on its way down, this made it extremely difficult to onboard any project to our platform, even when offering the integration for free. This also hurt the funding a lot, we had to downsize from 12 employees down to 6, only keeping the dev team. However, they were also the most expensive employees. Most of ICOmalta clients paid in crypto, something we encouraged as a cryptocurrency company believing in the future of Ethereum. Especially as our own platform was built on top of it. However we didn’t have the common sense to convert it to DAI or similar when accepting, so our funds kept going down while we had to pay bills and salaries.
In 2020 there was another crash and the covid19 hysteria in Mars 2020 that affected the markets heavily was the final blow. When the cryptocurrency market goes down, so do the clients for an CryptoCurrency agency that offers ICOs, in 2019 we only had very few clients in comparison with 2018, in 2020 there was only 1 left and it did not pay our bills, a broken cryptomarket together with Covid19 was not a good combination for a project that target startups.
We had no choice than to fire the last 2 developers we had and shut the web server that powered the platform down, as the project had no funding left and we still had no users signing up to the platform.
The reason I did not write this letter before now is that I continue to think of ways to restart the project, a post like this would only close doors instead of opening them, I was also afraid of hurting the project in other ways, such as delisting on the few exchanges that trade REF and coinmarketcap. However, I think it's about time supporters of the project knew what's been going on.
Most of the tokens are still locked up in a multisig that can not be touched and the platform is ready to be deployed again. I still can’t help but hope there is some way we could save the project and not all the development was for nothing so the website will stay up for now.
/Alexander, CTO of RefToken