Oh, how time flies. A month went by, and our launch window just hit supercritical.
What strikes me the most, however, is how little we’ve talked about you. Yes, the person reading this, the prospective Pluto user who has, to this point, stuck by us and been eager to see us succeed. We can’t thank you enough. But we’re sure as hell going to try.
Actually, this has been one of the best-kept secrets of Pluto thus far, and was the detail that, when I was recruited, transformed me from skeptic to true believer. I knew that it would take a monumental shift in my perspective, as a doubter of decentralized financial projects of all shapes and sizes, to get me on board. It has done that and then some. Without further ado,
Community Rewards! For several months, we have internally discussed our plans to keep focus on our end users, and what we can do to materially improve their lives and experiences. Our answer? Profit sharing. An honest to God means to give back to the very people who make our jobs and all our hard work worth it: You. At the end of every month, our end users are going to see a slice of the pie, be the market bull or bear, as a means to give thanks. But that’s only going to raise questions. So here are some answers.
Answer 1: Spark Plug
Sparks, meet Pluto user, Pluto user, meet Sparks! Sparks are an interesting little tool, if you can call them that. They aren’t a fixed representation of how much of a profit share you’ll be able to get your hands on, and they don’t have a conversion rate to a dollar. But what they enable is, by and large, the fairest way to divvy up our profits and rewards and encourage the total use of Pluto in as unobtrusive a manner as possible. That dividend pool will be announced in advance, each month. Depending on how active a Pluto user you are, you can earn Sparks, a metric that properly demonstrates said activity, and puts you in a position to be rewarded for your efforts.
This does beg a separate, but related, question. Is this pay to win, or put another way, will people who invest more money with our live trading services leapfrog our users that are more frugal or use our product differently? NO! Sparks cannot, and truly should not, be calculated based on live trading or customers using their actual money. This isn’t meant to incentivize money changing hands in order to make a little extra from the profit share. No matter how you invest, no matter how you use Pluto, you'll have an equal opportunity as the next man up to take part.
The balancing act we have to strike is not to encourage patterns of behavior, *especially* when it comes to trading itself, but to still encourage our users to broaden their horizons and pick up habits that can only help them become more attentive and in tune with their financial goals. And just as with competitions, Sparks will rank our most dedicated users at the forefront of the rewards pool, as a celebration of accomplishments large and small.
So Sparks! They're pretty neat, I'd say! The measure of your account's diversity of activity and the key to unlocking your piece of the profit sharing pie. But... is that it?
Answer 2: Lightning Bug
(It’s actually more of a Lightning Feature, past me, but I’ll let it slide since it rhymes with the last answer.) I bet you might be wondering, "wouldn't old users be rewarded more and new users be punished for having the audacity to not generate Sparks since the beginning?" And you'd be right to wonder. In fact, it was the first question I raised to Jacob when he pitched the rewards to me. Since Sparks don't go away, there will inevitably be conflict between the desire to share in our success with as many people as possible, and the pull that legacy accounts will have towards greater rewards. Stratification is of course what we want to avoid, so if Sparks were the lone actor here, older users would naturally see the top most often. Dailies, our preeminent Rewards Update feature, is the lynchpin.
Sparks are big, but they aren't everything, nor should they be given their permanent status on your account. So why don't we go... bigger? Sparks may be the base catalyst for your place in the community rewards, but it won't mean a thing compared to the reward you'll see for daily usage. Daily activities, which will refresh every day at 4PM PST and contain 3 or 4 simple-t0-complete exercises in maintaining your account, will slowly but surely supercharge your effective total of Sparks well beyond what you've actually accrued. This will be represented by a little lightning bolt next to your Spark total. The key here is consistency. Doing dailies several days in a row will begin to increase this multiplier, by an added .5x each day, up to a maximum of 10x!
Take my case as an example. I currently have 594 Sparks to my account, and by doing dailies I'll get anywhere from 30 to 60 more per day, depending on how lucky I get with the assigned challenges. But that's only half the battle. Routine, daily completion of these challenges will result in a runaway multiplicative effect (so long as you keep logging on to do them) that might see me at the end of a month have 1000 Sparks, but a 10x multiplier to put me up to 10,000. If someone else has ended their month with 3000 Sparks, but wasn't doing their dailies consistently, I've leveled the playing field and then some!
Answer 3: Nitty Gritty
Now that you know the what and the how, let's add some window dressing. First of all, there are plans in the works for our immediate future to add a ton more dailies to the potential pool of tasks. How many, you ask? By my count, at least FIFTY have been planned, which is wild on it's own, but those are just the ones that have names internally. There is a true deluge of content on the horizon for Pluto, and I couldn't be more excited.
Though it's still earlier on in development, we plan to also release an update containing a full visualizer of how much you've made as a community member, alongside other key data points that'll keep you in the know about all things Pluto. I can't share too much about it now, but just the mock-up has blown me away, and I know you'll all love it.
Also, achievements (my personal baby feature from over the summer, still real proud of that one) are now integrated with Sparks! The one thing I could never nail down about achievements was how to incentivize most users, who aren't collect-a-thon dorks like myself, to really interact with the achievements system. Now, these big one-time rewards have the potential to even the playing field and get new users on-board fast, and shine a greater light on all the features Pluto has to offer!
And lastly, going forward, participation in competitions will also reward a generous gift of Sparks, especially to top performers. However, all registered participants are going to see tangible benefit from here on out. Even if your strategy bombs out, or banking on Tesla finally stops working, you'll still have a reason to compete right to the very end. Healthy competition in the community just got even stronger.
So there you have it! The Community Rewards update, containing the first of many ways we'll continue to reward all of our faithful users with exactly the support they deserve. Here's to many more.