The Forward Ecosystem

The Forward Ecosystem

  • Forward Protocol
    • Forward Factory
      • Proof of Value-Delivered (PoVD)
      • Proof of Value (PoV)
      • Distributed Reward and Revenue Sharing (DRRS)
      • Proof of Ownership (PoO)
      • Initial Value Offering (IKO)
    • Forward ID
    • Forward Pay
  • Tokens & Staking
    • FORWARD (Forward Token - Utility)
    • FUSD (Forward USD - Stable)
    • Staking & LP Contracts
    • Governance
  • Forward Chain
    • Forward Explorer
    • Forward Bridge
    • Multiple Consensys
  • Forward SDK

Forward Factory: Instant Deployment Model

Forward Factory has a no-code, drag and drop interface. Any platform can install its open-source application integrated with their smart contracts of choice (fully customizable), pre-integrated with Forward Protocol and $FORWARD.
The Forward Protocol architecture will be layered, dividing each segment of the value-driven economy into multiple smart contracts to provide targeted solutions for specific problems.
Platforms that deploy contracts through Forward Factory can set the fees (revenue model) for users on their platform, turn features on/off, modify terms/policies, and easily integrate these modifications with their business model.
The process is designed to help platforms deploy and become blockchain-ready with a much shorter lead time than it would take to develop a platform themselves.
Examples of Customization Options can be reviewed here.

The 5 Core Smart Contracts

  1. 1.
    Proof of Value-Delivered (PoVD)
  2. 2.
    Proof of Value (PoV)
  3. 3.
    Distributed Reward and Revenue Sharing (DRRS)
  4. 4.
    Proof of Ownership (PoO)
  5. 5.
    Initial Knowledge Offering (IKO)

1. Proof Of Value-Delivered (PoVD)

Proof of Value-Delivered can be useful to -
  • Marketplaces
  • Freelancers
  • Hiring Interns
  • Crowd-Freelancing
  • Tutors
Proof Of Value-Delivered is a smart contract which deals with the actual transfer of value in exchange for movement of money. For example, an expert adds a new course to the Forward Marketplace. A learner buys the course and gets access to valuable information. The expert can incentivize (add rewards to) the course to increase the completion rate, making the expert eligible for further rewards from the learner's success. Experts or the platform deploying the Forward Protocol can customize the criteria and settings of the escrow contract according to their needs.
The Proof of Value-Delivered smart contract says, “you do this, and then you get the reward (e.g. money) for completing the task.” It works purely on the condition that a predefined value is delivered with proof of delivery.
An example from the Decentralized Education (DeEd) sector for Corporates: An employer wants their employees to complete an annual LinkedIn Learning training program, completed on a monthly cycle. The employer can incentivize (add rewards) the course to encourage completion. For example, the employer may tell their employee, “Your bonus this year is contingent on completing and passing this course that will upskill you for your job position. Complete the course, improve your skills, and you get the reward (the bonus).” The rewards can be unlocked on a linear vesting schedule spread over the year as monthly training is completed.
The accumulated rewards are held in escrow until bonuses are paid at the end of the year, and then released to the employee according to their training completion rates. Hence, an employee that completed 80% of their training would receive 80% of their bonus.
The statistics show that most people never complete the courses they start. An organization that expends resources on skill improvement courses should also be able to measure their efficacy. This extra layer of incentive acts as motivation for the employee to complete their monthly training. As a result, the organization benefits from better trained staff and self motivated employees.
An example for the Escrow model: The freelancer-client relationship. Applicants apply for a job, indicate their terms, submit their bids, references, and qualifications. As part of the terms defined by the application's smart contract, the applicant can define a cashback to the employer upon job completion and payment receipt, and also leave a review/feedback. The employer will validate the qualifications of applicants registered on the blockchain and choose the best applicant for the position. Payment (in the form of $FUSD) will automatically be transferred from the employer's wallet into an escrow wallet and the selected contractor will begin their work. Upon job completion, the contractor will notify the employer and turn in the agreed deliverables. Once the employer confirms that submission is as agreed, the payment will be transferred to the contractor's wallet, minus commission fees that will be transferred to the deploying platform’s wallet, from where Forward Protocol's fees reach Forward’s wallet. Part of Forward’s commission will then be distributed within the community if the Distributed Reward & Revenue Sharing smart contract is activated. The smart contract will automatically transfer $FORWARD to the employer’s wallet upon the completion of the freelancer’s set metrics. These measures will reduce abandoned projects where clients become unresponsive.
The PoVD smart contract will create open terms for anyone to verify:
  • The amount to be paid to the escrow and terms of service.
  • The amount to be returned/awarded on successful job completion.
This interaction will be defined by the smart contract that any of the above parties can customize (to the extent allowed by the deploying platform) before initiating the smart contract.
An example from the Course Marketplace: An expert adds a new training course to the Marketplace. A student buys the course and gets access to valuable information. The expert can incentivize (add rewards to) the course to increase the completion rate which will make the expert eligible for further rewards from the learner's success. Experts or platforms deploying Forward Protocol can customize the criteria and the settings of the escrow contract to deliver the reward/incentive they need for their use case.
If a learner pays $1,000 for a course, and we can validate that the expert covered the curriculum and the learner completed the course, the expert receives the agreed fee ($1,000).
The expert can recommend a value (say 20%) to go back to the learner from the original fee ($1000) if they complete the course.
This reward wallet is a public wallet which the user can share on social media or with friends/family when they enroll on the course. Supporters can top-up the reward wallet with donations/incentives to be shared with the learner upon reaching preset milestones instead of giving them money directly, incentivizing them to complete the course.
Examples of Incentives
  1. 1.
    A $500 course + $100 incentive could be a course that is sold for $600. The learner pays the $600 for the course, but they get a $100 refund upon curriculum completion.
  2. 2.
    Another expert delivers a $500 course with a $4500 incentive. The learner pays $5000 for the course and gets $4500 back immediately they complete the course.

2. Proof of Value (PoV) - Facilitating High-Quality Knowledge Sharing

Proof of Value (PoV) is used to reward content creators/value producers as recognition for their time and effort.
This smart contract can be applied in various scenarios:
  • Someone writes an article
  • Someone publishes in the Q&A
  • An expert displays and propagates acts of leadership
  • An expert delivers a keynote speech to an audience
Proof of Value aims to show that the contribution will solve the consumer’s use case (or problem). It connects value transfer from end-to-end, (revenue with users), allowing the entity to determine the criteria for reward.
Once the PoV criteria are established by the deploying platform, the party delivering value gets the incentive or monetary reward generated from the advertising on the page, and other sources of revenue provided by donors, scholarships, incentive schemes, etc.
A platform accepting donations can use it as the reward wallet in addition to the advertising revenue or other revenues their business model provides. The rewards are distributed based on the proof of value framework, which is the value placed on the creator’s output. This figure is based on the demand and interaction of the end-users. It is usually a product of importance to the audience and can be measured by the number of upvotes received, readership stats, number of times shared, amount of times saved, etc.
For example, through the Proof of Value mechanism in Forward Protocol, a free reply post from an expert to a user's question can turn out to be an ongoing source of profits for the expert.
An example from a Q&A forum or online encyclopedia: The ad revenue (or the reward wallet set by the entity requesting the content creation or the platform with content creation needs) is then distributed to all parties involved based on parameters such as the value of their contribution, upvotes and viewership. The entity distributing the reward determines the percentage of revenue to distribute back to users. Their impact is judged based on experience, validated credentials and community response. The POV smart contract will be useful in platforms like Quora, that use advertising revenue to reward engagement. A platform like Wikipedia can also use revenue from donations to reward engagement.
Rewards can also be given to users for their efforts to help others on the platform. An example of this could be a user on Quora sharing a helpful post from another user. The author of the original post may announce a reward to other users that share their post.

3. Distributed Rewards and Revenue Sharing (DRRS)

This smart contract creates a layer of incentivization across all modules of a platform. It creates a long-term passive revenue stream for all active contributors, beyond the limited scope of individual smart contracts.
An example of jobs boards and knowledge partners: If a student completes their training and gets a job via the job board, it is a result of many factors. They include lessons by world-class tutors, help from community members, interactions and community forums, etc. The algorithm takes a small percentage of the fee charged to recruiters and distributes it algorithmically among everybody that was actively involved in the learning process of the recruit. Hence, it rewards them for their contribution to the learning that resulted in the job. This smart contract makes the experts lifelong "knowledge partners'' of their former students.
For example, for a $1,000 job where the deploying platform takes a 10% commission, the platform can configure half of the commission to go to the people that helped the student get that job. It may only be a few cents per student, but it can easily add up to a substancial income for an active teacher or trainer with thousands of students or trainees.
This algorithm takes into account the relevance of the course or training to the job won, community-driven voted value for the said course and the expert, the expert’s relevance and activity on the platform (if they are active or inactive for years), recency of the course and other qualitative and quantitative parameters.

4. Proof of Ownership (PoO)

Forward Protocol supports recognition and protection of the intellectual property of content creators. When a creator uploads their content, they can protect their material by minting them as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which uniquely registers and identifies each separate part of the creation on the blockchain.
NFTs in their current form are speculative assets with the option to buy, sell and hold. The real-world trade and commerce functions in NFT space will add versatility and range to the market. It will add the capabilities to license, rent, and lease NFTs either as an exclusive or semi-exclusive contract.
Bulk minting and gasless minting from a no-code interface are essential to increase adoption.
An example of Skills certification: Certification minted as NFTs for validation of skills certification.
The smart contract becomes even more effective in combination with other contracts to validate the reputation score for the certificate. It will track the reputation of the test, the teacher, the student and the difficulty or value of the course itself. A student may have done 100 low-rated courses, with 20 certifications issued by a sub-par training institution. However, it is not on the same level as an Oxford University course. Hence, it will have superior value and reputation with an accompanying higher certificate score.
Gasless NFTs minting will assist organizations that issue millions of certificates. They can simply mint and allow students to claim the certificates with their ForwardID.

5. Initial Knowledge Offering (IKO)

Forward Protocol offers the infrastructure for IKO – Initial Knowledge Offering. The IKO provides a solution for large-scale educational content creators (such as courses). Currently, content creators need to invest substantial amounts of time and money to produce their products, but lack the assurance that they will become popular and be purchased by students to cover the costs and assure profit from their product. Until the production of a course (or any other educational content that requires major investment) is complete and released to the market, content creators do not know if it will be a commercial success. Consequently, many educators are reluctant to take on the financial risk, and the potential courses that could have financially benefited them, and could have been beneficial to students are never produced.
The IKO system resolves the problems associated with market uncertainty and financial risk by enabling educational content creators to introduce themselves, their course outline and sell their courses before producing them. It also protects funds sent from interested students during the course offering.
When an initiative to produce new educational material, such as a new course, is presented over by a content creator, students may choose to back this and to purchase their access to the course in advance of production. Each student ("backer") transfers the requested amount in $FUSD to an escrow wallet. When the total amount in escrow reaches the target amount within a specific period of time, the project is funded and the content creator can begin producing the course.
The platform integrating the IKO can define when the funds are released to the experts. It can be released when:
  1. 1.
    The entire course is created, published and accepted by the majority of the backers, then the complete funds are released.
  2. 2.
    When each chapter is released and accepted by a pre-defined % or number of backers, then a part of the funds are released.
  3. 3.
    When the course/chapter is created, but no backer acceptance is required.
As the course is released, backers can gain access to it. The amount from the escrow wallet will be transferred to the content creator. If the project fails to attract the necessary funds from prospective students within the defined period, or if the content creator fails to deliver the product, the funds will be returned to the backers.
In this way, the IKO mitigates the risks for course creators and students. Sometimes, they may fail to identify insufficient demand for their material or to notice a potentially successful product, Simultaneously, it protects the payments made by students and other project supporters when the creator fails to deliver the final product or from fraud.
An example of high-value course creation: The average sale price of a $10-$50 course is not enough to cover the costs of creating a quality course if the sale volume is not high enough. With an IKO, course creators can provide a course before it is created along with their profile to prove their knowledge and experience.
The course may cost $50,000 to develop, but it may be advertised to students, who can pre-pay for the course, say $500 per student.
Once the creator has reached the $50,000 target, they can start to develop the course. The money students pay for the course material will remain in escrow until the course is created and released as defined by the platform, either on total completion or according to preset milestones.
The integrating platform can also enable rewards for early supporters. A percentage from all future course sales may be allocated to them for their early support creating the material. These rewards may be scheduled to run for any length of time (as per the discretion of the course creator or the platform). These options can be customized in the Forward Factory.

Customizations in Forward Factory

Example of customizations in the Initial Knowledge Offering (IKO) smart contract (Initial Value Offering - IVO contract is called as IKO in DeEd sector)
  1. 1.
    Should the backers of the course receive a percentage of revenue for future course sales? If yes, what percentage? If not, the feature can be disabled.
  2. 2.
    Should the funds from the smart contract be released to the expert immediately when 100% hard cap is met, OR should it be released in stages as the course is developed and made accessible to the supporting learners OR should it be released in stages as the course is deployed ONLY with X% consensus of the supporters attesting to the quality of the course?
  3. 3.
    What percentage of the fees will the platform charge?
In the Proof of Value-Delivered contract, the receiver has the freedom to set the reward percentage, stage(s) of release, and measured KPIs. For example, in DeEd, the experts or organization can set the smart contract to release 5% of the reward after completing specific milestones, or 100% released on full completion of the course and passing a test with a particular success rate.
In the Proof of Value smart contract, website owners can deploy the contract and set a percentage of the revenue generated to be distributed to the contributors based on the value they offer. They can slo set the source of funds, distribution criteria , frequency of distribution, consensus model and more.
In addition, they may add a donation wallet where spectators can donate with a percentage of the donation released to the contributors on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. They may also award the incentive when a specific target is reached - for example, $500. Proof of Value is customizable based on platform activity.
The options are fully customizable as per the preference of the deploying platforms and their business model. Forward Factory’s vision is to provide all the options to various industry sectors, deploying smart contracts without requiring them to edit or rewrite their underlying code.

Forward ID

When they register on any platform that integrates Forward Protocol, a user will create a Forward ID – a single ID that lets them automatically log in to any website that utilizes Forward Protocol. This universal ID is similar to Facebook and Google's IDs that enable automatic connection to websites and services.
By integrating Forward ID, learning apps and institutions no longer need to process their users' personal information. Forward Protocol removes this redundancy through a fast and strict KYC process to verify their identity before receiving their Forward ID. It saves cost and time that would have been wasted on complex user verification procedures.
The Forward ID is a blockchain ID that gives a user complete control over their data and the ability to share personal information on a need-to-know basis. Forward ID allows users to authenticate themselves across platforms and carry their reputation, history, credentials, and identity across apps and ecosystems.
Using Foward ID, users can add as many wallet addresses as they have as the wallet address is the identity of the decentralized space. By connecting their wallet addresses to a single Forward ID, users can monitor their progress and manage their experience across different platforms.

Forward Pay

Forward Pay is a digital wallet that connects to a user’s Forward ID. It allows users to store, manage, swap and trade their funds/cryptocurrencies. It is connected to Fiat ramps (in and out) so that users can complete transactions using their credit cards and bank accounts.
Forward Pay uses Forward ID/username to send/receive payments, improving usability and adoption rather than using complex wallet addresses. It reduces the risk of losing funds to wrong wallet transfers, allows users to request/send payments, and aids accountability and financial transactions audit.
A user can log in to any platform integrated with Forward Protocol using Forward ID and pay for services using Forward Pay.

Tokens and Staking

FORWARD (Forward Token - Utility)

The native digital cryptographically-secured fungible token of Forward Protocol ($FORWARD) is a transferable representation of attributed governance and utility functions specified in the protocol/code of Forward Protocol, and which is designed to be used solely as an interoperable utility token on the protocol/network.
$FORWARD is a functional utility token which will be used as the medium of exchange between participants on Forward Protocol in a decentralized manner. The goal of introducing $FORWARD is to provide a convenient and secure mode of payment and settlement between participants who interact within the ecosystem on Forward Protocol, and it is not, and not intended to be, a medium of exchange accepted by the public (or a section of the public) as payment for goods or services or for the discharge of a debt; nor is it designed or intended to be used by any person as payment for any goods or services whatsoever that are not exclusively provided by the issuer. $FORWARD does not in any way represent any shareholding, participation, right, title, or interest in the Company, the Distributor, their respective affiliates, or any other company, enterprise or undertaking, nor will $FORWARD entitle token holders to any promise of fees, dividends, revenue, profits or investment returns, and are not intended to constitute securities in any relevant jurisdiction. $FORWARD may only be utilised on Forward Protocol, and ownership of $FORWARD carries no rights, express or implied, other than the right to use $FORWARD as a means to enable usage of and interaction within Forward Protocol.
$FORWARD also functions as the economic incentives which will be distributed to encourage users to contribute to and participate in the ecosystem on Forward Protocol, thereby creating a mutually beneficial system where every participant is fairly compensated for its efforts. $FORWARD is an integral and indispensable part of Forward Protocol, because without $FORWARD, there would be no incentive for users to expend resources to participate in activities or provide services for the benefit of the entire ecosystem on Forward Protocol. Given that additional $FORWARD will be awarded to a user based only on its actual usage, activity and contribution on Forward Protocol and/or proportionate to the frequency and volume of transactions, users of Forward Protocol and/or holders of $FORWARD which did not actively participate will not receive any $FORWARD incentives.

FUSD (Forward USD - Stablecoin)

$FUSD is the protocol-issued stablecoin that supports stable value transfers, purchases and payments within the ecosystem.
$FUSD is pegged against other USD-based stablecoins like USDT, BUSD, and USDC in a smart contract. Users can deposit these stablecoins to mint an equal amount of $FUSD to use within the ecosystem. FUSD is burnt when deposited stablecoins are removed from the smart contract. It is primarily used for the internal cross-chain liquidity to avoid holding liquidity in multiple stablecoins.
Example: Users can buy a product/course/service in the Proof of Value-Delivered contract via $FUSD, but the rewards will be in $FORWARD.
The protocol will add more stablecoins in the future as it grows. Forward Pay will help increase its adoption globally.

Token Holder’s Incentives

$FORWARD functions as membership loyalty reward points, so users will be classified into different loyalty tiers based on the amount of $FORWARD they hold and the value they delivered in the ecosystem. The premium membership tiers offer greater access to protocol, including exclusive products, services and lower fees charged at protocol and application levels (as indicated by the deploying applications).
Example at the protocol level: Based on their $FORWARD holdings, users will be charged lower fees on smart contract transactions as long as the specified levels are maintained during the regular snapshots.
Example at the application level: A DeEd platform will have premium incentive for teachers in the marketplace applications. Suppose an expert lists a course on the marketplace. The algorithm ranks the teachers’ knowledge, reviews, ratings, reputation etc. It will also consider the amount of $FORWARD that the expert holds as an indication of commitment to arrive at the final ranking of the teacher in the marketplace. This system is a hybrid ranking mechanism. It applies to freelancing boards or any form of visibility prioritization. Ranking will not be based solely on token holdings as the only metric for premium visibility in a marketplace, as that supports the “rich get richer, poor get poorer” dogma (a wealthy teacher could easily “buy” their way to top positions on account of their financial status).
A mix of certain parameters will be used to create a fair ranking outcome:
  1. 1.
    Tokens held
  2. 2.
    History (ratings, reviews, reputation in the ecosystem, years of contribution)
  3. 3.
    Credentials (Eg: certifications, verified credentials, etc.)
Since the reputation of every user is measured across all connected platforms, deploying platforms can leverage this crowd-sourced reputation by integrating these loyalty-based ranking factors.

Staking and Yield Farming Contracts

Forward Protocol itself is simply a blockchain protocol that, by design, does not offer any resources for utilization, so in order to provide easy access to $FORWARD and promote ecosystem growth, users will need to be incentivized to become liquidity providers and stake their digital assets into various decentralized pools to provide the necessary liquidity for transactions. As compensation for opportunity costs, these liquidity providers which help to promote Forward Protocol adoption by staking or including assets to liquidity pools in exchange for LP tokens will be rewarded with $FORWARD (i.e., "yield farming" on Forward Protocol), according to each user's relative contribution after applying various adjustments and correction parameters.

Governance

To promote decentralized community governance for the network, $FORWARD will allow holders to create and vote on on-chain governance proposals to determine future features and/or parameters of Forward Protocol (e.g. level of system fees). The right to vote is restricted to solely voting on features of Forward Protocol; it does not entitle $FORWARD holders to vote on the operation and management of the Company, its affiliates, or their assets or the disposition of such assets to token holders, or select the board of directors of these entities, or determine the development direction of these entities. It does not constitute any equity interest in any of these entities or any collective investment scheme, and the arrangement is not intended to be any form of joint venture or partnership.

Validator rewards

When the native Forward Chain is built, it will feature a peer-to-peer networking layer whereby nodes will be responsible for maintaining security and validating transactions between the network users. Accordingly, $FORWARD will be utilized as the native currency for payment of fees to validators for their services.

Applications

There will be many open-source applications that will be developed in the process of integrating with various platforms and partners. All of these applications will be made available for the community to plug-and-play. They will be pre-integrated in the Forward Protocol. Those who want to use these applications just need to install them, customize the UI with the user-friendly interface, head to the Forward Factory to customize the smart contract based on their organization’s needs and deploy them.
Some other applications in the roadmap include:
  • Q&A Section
  • Course Marketplace
  • Freelancing Marketplace
  • Crowdsourced-Freelancing Marketplace
  • And other open-source applications
The developers’ community is encouraged to create new applications in the open-source model to advance the DeEd revolution. Smart contract developers can contribute to the Forward Factory to extend the template in the smart contracts library.

Forward Chain

Forward Chain will act as the “value chain” for tracking the global value transfers and ‘impact’ of various elements involved in the value transfer process. It also helps large partners achieve scalability.
Forward Chain is a blockchain built using the Cosmos SDK. The future of blockchain is interoperability. Forward Chain will be EVM-compatible and will become part of the internet of blockchains.
Developing the Forward Chain offers many benefits compared to deployment on an existing chain.
Forward Chain will help application users avoid congestion and high gas fees associated with other chains, especially during peak activity periods.
Since Forward Chain is EVM-compatible, users do not have to worry about being siloed from other ecosystems. In the future, the Forward Chain will work with all chains, making it chain-agnostic. As it is chain-agnostic, Forward Chain users will be able to tap into every part of the blockchain universe and will have access to all decentralized users and dApps.

Bridge & Explorer

Forward Chain will be bridged to all EVM-based chains like Polygon, BSC, and Ethereum via its custom bridging solution. The bridge is the gate to Ethereum and the Forward Chain developers’ community and potential service providers can conveniently join the Forward Chain without worrying about any limitations or barriers. The Forward Chain will have its own unique blockchain explorer where users can track their transactions and monitor the network’s status.

Networking & Consensus Mechanism

The Forward Chain will use Tendermint Engine where the networking and consensus layers are built. The Forward Blockchain will deploy a Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus algorithm. The networking layer is a peer-to-peer network where nodes ensure privacy and security. The nodes are responsible for security and validating transactions between network users. Forward Chain will use Polygon's validator to validate transactions in a decentralized fashion using Proof of Stake. The Forward Chain team will focus on building the ecosystem, developers’ community and more without worrying about the network’s infrastructure.

Cosmos SDK

Cosmos SDK is a framework that enables developers to build new decentralized blockchain applications and smart contracts. With a foundation of clean, well-structured modules from Cosmos SDK, Forward Chain developers will be able to continue expanding the Forward Chain ecosystem.

Advantages of Forward Chain

  1. 1.
    Based on the reliable and fast Tendermint BFT consensus engine
  2. 2.
    Minimal transaction fees
  3. 3.
    Truly decentralized as it uses Polygon’s validation engine to validate transactions
  4. 4.
    Multi-layered consensus
    1. 1.
      BFT facilitated by Tendermint at the network layer
    2. 2.
      POS facilitated at the application layer