Here is a quick guide on how everything
works on our platform to get you started.
At present, basic research in early-stage drug development is almost exclusively performed by academics and funded through public money. It is often this early stage that drives innovation and where valuable new discoveries are made. Yet, the selection process of which discoveries should receive funding for further development, is closed-off to the general public.
We believe that anyone should be able to partake in this process, and that crowdfunding can act as a necessary tool to achieve that.
On Molecule Catalyst, the focus of securing funding shifts away from appealing only to grant providers, to exciting the public and giving them access to novel research causes and projects. Ultimately, crowdfunding democratises research funding and directly benefits society by bringing more people into science.
Molecule Catalyst is designed to provide a novel crowdfunding solution for research projects in drug development and bring new treatments closer to patients.
Molecule Catalyst aims to support research initiatives for early-stage, experimental studies in drug discovery. Anyone working in these studies can submit their research proposals through our website. Make sure that you have the necessary rights to act on behalf of the associated team or organisation and that all results can be shared publicly.
Before a fundraising campaign launches on the platform, the projects undergo a rigorous, scientific review process by the Molecule Team and its associated advisors.
This is currently the only centralised step the Molecule team is involved in. After approval, every project is managed in a fully decentralised manner by the project lead.
Researchers create their projects with outlined goals/hypothesis, the outcomes of which, will be published when specific funding goals are reached before starting the campaign. Molecule Catalyst has been designed in such a way that it incentivises researchers to provide updates as soon as progress is made, so that they actively engage and build trust with their contributor base. These updates can be found on the individual project pages.
You are able to directly assess progress and whether the teams are following through on their promises.
This allows you to make informed decisions on whether or not you are still interested in supporting an initiative. Additionally, the Molecule Team keeps a direct line of contact with the research leads and will conduct check-ins on a regular basis.
If you do not have MetaMask on your current device - visit this easy to follow guide to see a step-by-step on how to install MetaMask on a new device and other devices before using our platform.
Token bonding curves might sound very intimidating but they are actually quite a simple concept.
A bonding curve is a piece of code that mints and burns new tokens in exchange for a certain type of collateral.
On our platform the collateral used is Dai. The curve automatically determines the rate of exchange between Dai and the distributed token based on demand. When more tokens come into circulation, the token price increases, and vice versa, decreases when they are burnt.
Molecule Catalyst uses a special type of token bonding curve. In our system, the “buy” price for tokens is always higher than the “sell” price. This means that you always pay more for minting tokens than what you would get back for burning them. The difference between these two values is what provides the funding for the research project.
The most common way to visualise token bonding curves is by using a supply graph that shows circulating token supply on the x-axis and the price to mint a single token on the y-axis.
See an instructional example of this in practise in the next section on this page.
Alice wants to support an interesting research project she found on Molecule Catalyst. She is the first person who supports the campaign, thus, the project stake reserve is still completely empty. She decides to back the project with 100 Dai, and her total contribution gets divided into two parts:
1) Support: 95% of the funds, i.e 95 Dai, is forwarded directly to the funding vault controlled by the research lead.
2) Stake: 5%, i.e 5 Dai, will be stored in the project stake reserve.
In return for her support, Alice receives 300 project tokens. This number is automatically calculated by the bonding curve of this fundraising campaign. She would immediately be able to sell these tokens for 5 Dai, but since she believes in the success of the campaign, she holds on to the tokens for now and promotes the project in her personal network.
Bob hears about the project from his friend Alice. He is excited about the novel treatment area and decides to support the cause with an additional 100 Dai.
Again, 95 Dai (95%), is sent to the research vault/reserve and 5 Dai (5%), is staked into the total project market. Since the price for tokens is now higher than when Alice supported the campaign, Bob only receives 200 project tokens.
At this point, Alice could sell her 300 tokens for 6 Dai (calculated by the bonding curve based on the new circulating supply of 500), thus, she has increased her stake value and is rewarded for promoting the project.
Ultimately, the project token price acts as an indicator for how well the project is doing. If the contributors remain confident due to the progress they can see from the researcher's updates, the price for the tokens will continue to increase over time. On the other hand, if contributors start to sell their tokens, the value in the market will drastically decrease, indicating a lack of confidence.
Fundraising campaigns on Molecule Catalyst are divided into several phases and funding goals. They are proposed by the researchers based on budget needs to conduct the experiments planned for the different project phases. The timeline and specific amounts become immutable once a campaign is launched.
Even though contributions are sent directly to the research funding vault, Molecule Catalyst is an all-or-nothing funding platform.
This means that the funding goal of the current phase has to be reached before the research team can access the funds. If a funding goal is not reached or the time to reach it runs out, you can get your contribution and project stake back by selling your project tokens.
The fundraising campaign for a research project is automatically terminated when the last funding goal is reached.
At this point in time, you will no longer be able to contribute to the project in exchange for tokens. The Dai that is still held in the project stake reserve can be reclaimed by the token holders.
However, a new token price is calculated by dividing the value of the project stake reserve by the number of tokens in circulation. This creates a fair redistribution price and evens out rewards between early- and late- stage contributors. The graph below shows how this new price is determined.