The initial idea for Akropolis was born out of what Ana Andrianova has witnessed as a result of the Lehman Brothers fallout in 2007-2009. The problem is both simple and relatively unknown to the younger population: it's the current and ever-increasing pensions deficit crisis and no visible solutions to it. In the event of an economic crisis, public funds and social security funds are the first pools of capital that a state typically taps into to plug the budget deficit.
We wanted to create an alternative financial network - a way to save money, protect wealth against inflation, ensure access to credit and basic insurance and remittances through a p2p-network that can communicate with but doesn't structurally depend on the banking system.
We started with more of an enterprise angle supported by institutional partners, building our first MVU by August 2018. This proof-of-concept was created with the aim to give an individual the ability to create their own digital pension portfolio, invest in an appropriate fund, set up a regular savings commitment and stake AKT (AKRO) tokens in return for discounts and rewards.
And even though we have been offered to build closed PoCs specifically for institutional clients, we did not follow through with such proposals as it felt it is a territory of major management consultancies like PriceWaterhouse Coopers, or Ernst & Young. Most importantly, this would have been a deviation from our original vision - build products for everyone to use.
Our customer research continued and together with the search for a proper product-market fit that would be both economically viable and simple. Akropolis believes that technological mass adoption, particularly blockchain technologies, will not happen until it is unnoticeable, abstracted away as a part of the solution addressing people’s essential needs.
By January 2019 we found our PMF and shifted from enterprise angle to community-owned DAOs.
Strictly speaking, this was not a pivot away from pensions, as these are effectively long-term savings with a tax shield - we pivoted into a different model, which we believe is more economically viable.
We found a new vector in the correlation of new technological approaches with successful historical examples of autonomous financial groups. This was inspired by our research on authentic social financial formations (for instance, Kenyan chamas)
As a part of our research, we started to explore the Substrate framework and the Polkadot ecosystem as viable approaches to solve the scalability and interoperability issues found in platforms such as Ethereum.
In February, we presented C2FC at 0x&Coinlist hackathon and won the second place for it. C2FC is a financial primitive, that provides a solution for p2p-lending based on personal future cashflows - bringing cashflow financing to the Web 3.0 space. This primitive became a milestone and a core element towards developing our new MVU - Akropolis Network.
Originally, the Akropolis Network was built on AragonOS, however, when we faced several technical restrictions we decided to build our own framework - AkropolisOS - both developer and user-friendly.
The Akropolis Network first MVU was released in June 2019 on the Rinkeby testnet, with the following functionalities:
• Create co-ops
• Vote for different decisions in the DAO
• Invest through DeFi integrations (Compound)
• Lend money to other members of the DAO
After initial testing and feedback, we started to work on the improvements to the DAO design and we will be introducing uncollateralized loans, ragequit options, and other functionalities in due time.
Our updated roadmap which includes both Ethereum and Substrate development milestones (both past and future) сan be found here.