On Sunday, I had the opportunity to travel to Rio Dulce, Izabal department of Guatemala in the Caribbean Sea, thanks to Expanse. This town is very close to Belize. It borders Peten (the home of the Mayans) and Honduras.
The largest lake in Guatemala, Lake Izabal, has great forts and ports. It was a very important city at the time of the conquest, and is a mixture of Mayan and Garífuna cultures. Besides impressive landscapes, it is a door to the Caribbean. Beauty aside, it also has great needs in terms of health and education.
The group I traveled with is the True North Missions Foundation. It seeks to provide comprehensive medical care to children marginalized by the civil war that lasted 36 years until 1999.
There are more than 200,000 people who sought to live in remote places to avoid being persecuted, and today they have many needs. The United Nations recognizes them as “The Forgotten People.”
From the city, it was a 10-hour bus trip followed by crossing the lake to stay at the shore of Lake Izabal then be ready for a week of challenges.
Every day for five days we travel to remote communities and give medical assistance. Children and women are mainly cared for; husbands are working all day.
The team consisted of five translators, five doctors, an emergency doctor, and a pharmacy with medicines for preventive care. Dr. Alan Barber, the forerunner of this organization, took charge of visits to homes of people who could not come to us due to the state of their health.
We went through five different communities, sometimes by water, sometimes by pickup and sometimes by walking great distances. In numbers:
We were a team of 15 people, each donating their time, doctors who came from the United States, local interpreters (Kekchi – Spanish, Spanish – English) and others helping.
All travel and transportation expenses are paid by True North Missions.
I traveled 680 km by bus and walked a total of 56 km in a week. I traveled by boat approximately 50 km to reach some communities.
We attended to approximately 500 children and adults in 5 days, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The clinic and pharmacy were set up at the community school.
The main problems were skin (mange and fungus), dehydration, dental problems and parasites.
There are no dental or extremely serious services, so these patients are referred to the health center. They usually do not go.
Each person was given a dewormer, toothbrush and vitamins for 30 days to the children; besides the treatment of the problem they had.
This mission is carried out two or three times a year in the most remote communities. All others have access to the health center.
Compelling quotes from the trip:
“If you are 5 min before, you are in time. If you are on time you are late and if you are late then you are not there.”
Dr. Alan Barber.
“We are wasting the daylight.”
Dr Alan Barber
“Some of us learn on the way to be entrepreneurs, but you always have to study to do it well. You have to go without fear for life and give it a try.”
Olivia Interpreter Spanish – English.
“Respect and honesty open all the doors, you can spend all your money, but not others.”
Marcos the Captain.
“In life you have to travel and discover, alone or accompanied, travel, the world is so small, if you don’t tell me, what do you work for?”
Francisco interpreter Kekchi to Spanish and English.
There were many stories that I had to re-live, from a girl of 15 years with a baby of 2 who will surely have 8 children by the time she turns 40, to a girl with down syndrome without special care and many children with parasites or scabies. But all were very grateful that we were there and with a smile to give.
In the community we were given lunch, a chicken soup that should have 8 Michelin stars because it was made with love. I learned to be grateful. “It is not the same to have 100 and to give 10, as to have 10 and to give 10.” When you can serve, do it.
Welcome to the twelfth edition of the Expanse Newsletter for 2018. This publication is a bi-monthly newsletter issued on the 1st and 15th of each month to share happenings within our community. Here are a few highlights in this edition:
Gander Beta Version Launches!
Meet our newest EXP Grants recipients
Borderless Charity – Remembering Miguel
Compelling Quotes from our Discord Community
The Beta Version of Gander, the Expanse Explorer, Has Launched
We are excited to announce the launch of the beta version of our new Gander Explorer. The beta site is available for access at https://beta.gander.tech. Once we find that the beta is performing well, we will officially launch Gander by July 15, 2018.
Gander is set to become the backbone of the Expanse.Tech™ network. It will show all of the transaction counts and history for the users’ accounts.
The new Gander Explorer will also show details about the miners’ activities on the Expanse network. Later on, in V. 2, we will also display some great info regarding dApps and smart contracts running on the network.
Expanse is what it’s community wants it to be, and Gander is no different. We invite all our community members to check out the beta version of Gander and then post your feedback and suggestions in the new channel set up for Gander in the Expanse Discord. Your opinion is very important, so send in your invaluable feedback on how best to improve it and also information about any bugs you may encounter.
EXP Grants Selects Two More Grant Recipients; Challenges Everyone to Put Forward Big Ideas
The EXP Grants review board met recently to cull through the myriads of applications we’ve received from entrepreneurs focused on building projects to launch on the Expanse blockchain.
This time, there are two that stand out, and we have decided to awards grants for both projects. As you know,
the EXP Grants Program is open to anyone with a great idea on how to use the Expanse platform to create something truly amazing. You can learn more on the EXP Grants Program and how to apply here: https://expanse.tech/expanse-grants-lifecycle/.
Grant Recipient: Slips
One of the teams selected to receive a grant is called Slips. The project they submitted, also called Slips™, is a social betting platform for gamers and streamers.
Slips is a blockchain project that will launch on the Expanse.Tech platform, allowing eSports gaming fans to bet against each other while watching the streams they love on platforms such as Twitch and Mixer.
If you love eSports, unless you go to a large event, you’ll most likely watch the action on a stream. There are sites that allow you to bet on the results of these matches, but they are very restrictive—you can only bet on certain streamers (that the sites select based on popularity) and certain games (games that they can obtain results for via an API). However, betting is more fun when it is unrestricted and when people can be more creative with what bets they can make and how they can challenge their own friends.
Slips fixes these problems and more. It is a dApp and browser plugin that overlays existing platforms. You watch the stream that appears on Twitch, YouTube or Mixer, but you can also make challenges while doing so. Slips also has an intelligent moderation system which neatly solves the API issue. In addition to building the betting platform eSports fans have been crying out for, it also provides stream owners with a new revenue stream— besides the donations they already receive to keep their channel running.
Team Slips was co-founded by Husain Fazel, CEO, and Kyle O’Neill, Creative Director. Slips is essentially a two-man team that prides itself on doing more with less.They have produced some amazing work on a shoestring budget.
Husain, who is a full stack developer, has worked for a number of start-up organizations over the last 10 years. He got into the cryptosphere a little late, (middle of last year), but was fascinated by the space. He writes a blog called Orphan Blocks.
Kyle is a Communications Designer and has been working for a start-ups creating UI for mobile applications, web designs, marketing materials, etc. Most recently, he created a private social networking platform for businesses and universities called Qrosity. Kyle has been working on blockchain-related projects for the past year.
“We feel we’ve come up with an extremely interesting concept, and we have a huge target audience,” said Kyle. “We’ve been working diligently on building our proof of concept, (as opposed to throwing up a smart contract to raise funds), and connecting with our audience. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel and create our own blockchain. We plan to look to Expanse for that. We have entirely different problems to solve (user experience + adoption).
The team is happy that by leveraging the network and scaling improvements that Expanse has created, it can focus their efforts on building the project. And since Expanse already has its own token, EXP, the team doesn’t need to create a different token, but can simply use EXP as a way for users to make bets on the Slips platform.
It’s a win-win collaboration in that Expanse also benefits from having another blockchain project with a real world use-case launching on its network. Team Slips is 100 percent focused on adoption, and it hopes to be a real success story for Expanse.
When asked how he felt about receiving the grant for his projects, Kyle said, “I am very excited about the prospect of working with Expanse. Chris and his team are enthusiastic and extremely supportive of builders like us that are trying to create the blockchain solutions of tomorrow. It was very reassuring that they understood the problems we face on our journey and are committed to helping small teams like us overcome them and succeed.”
“Rarely do you see a team come to light that is as prepared to launch as the Slips team is,” said Christopher Franko, Expanse Founder. “They came to us with the complete package—white paper, website, pitch deck—you name it. We congratulate Team Slips on receiving the grant, and we shall extend all the help they need to launch their robust solution that will offer value to e-sports enthusiasts as well as to the Expanse community.”
Slips is beginning the proof of concept now, so they can put their dApp to the test. Given the recent supreme court ruling on sports gambling, the team thinks their project has some serious potential as a profitable blockchain technology product.
Check out their website, https://slips.io. Read the “lite paper” here: https://slips.ams3.digitaloceanspaces.com/slips_litepaper.pdf
Read Husain’s blog here: https://medium.com/@orphanblocks
Grant Recipient: Gameboard
The next project to receive a grant is Gameboard™, brought to us by the Guatemalan company, Power Development. CEO Omar Alvarez, is also a key member of the Expanse.Tech team. In fact, we first met Omar when his company came on board as an Expanse partner.
Although Omar’s Expanse title is Creative Director, designing and building awesome websites is only a fraction of what he accomplishes. He is the creator and Community Manager of the Expanse Spanish Discord channel, which is a very active community with a lively mix of games, camaraderie and support. Omar provides an endless stream of creative schemes that serve to keep community members engaged.
Let’s talk about Omar’s real passion, the blockchain-based Gameboard project. It is an incentive-based gamification system that allows the tracking of an individual’s gaming actions—measuring and comparing each member, team or department—using a rewards system to award points and badges at various levels. The rewards earned are incentive to play on the gamification playground now accessible on the www.gameboard.tech website.
On the Gameboard platform, you can register your company and create your teams and players, configuring departments and their teams. Each player is given a name and unique ID. You can then define internal actions to perform based on your company priorities and procedures.
For example, completing an assignment on time may get you ten points; selling a certain product may get you 15 points, and so on. You can then create levels and badges for the leels. All of this information is recorded, and a leader board is created that is sent to management, as well as all other eams to keep up the competitive spirit. This creative, fun approach to work is called gamification.
Gameboard is a great way to gamify mundane work, keep employees motivated, enhance reputation among peers, earn compensation for a job well done, and remove any possible perception of biases from the minds of employees. The result is a platform that brings about unparalleled transparency.
Gameboard is now integrated on the Expanse blockchain, and players on the platform can get rewards in the form of EXP tokens, thereby greatly enhancing the real-world use of EXP and providing value to the Expanse community.
“We believe in a world where people need to play,” said Omar. “Gameboard is a tool to make more productive teams. Together with my Gameboard partners, CFO Andres Garcia, we are setting out to put the ‘play’ factor into the world of work.”
“Omar and his Gameboard partners continue to amaze me with their creative approach to getting the job down and achieving record productivity,” said Christopher Franko, Expanse Founder. Omar, in particular, has brought the Expanse Army concept into our Expanse community, achieving high levels of engagement and rewards to the community just for playing.”
You can visit the Gameboard website, https://Gameboard.Tech to learn more. Read the Gameboard pitch deck here. Many congratulations to Omar and his team at Power Development.
When Kindness Triumphs Over Everything Else
Note from the Editor: Christopher Franko’s passion for blockchain technology is only exceeded by his devotion and commitment to giving back to those in need. Christopher founded the Borderless Charity, a 501(c) (3) organization based in Washington, NC. Its mission is to empower humanity by providing access to nutrition, housing, education, and healthcare. I was so touched by a recent blog about just one of the initiatives the charity took on, that I felt compelled to share it here. Sometimes we all benefit by focusing on what’s really important…
What binds us all as humans is far greater than what divides us. What is common within us is far greater than what differentiates us. At a greater level, we aren’t all that different. Call it a miracle of creation or the marvel of evolution, all sentient beings are united by a force that is stronger than anything else in the Universe. And that is the power of goodness and compassion; to empathize with the pain of another living being and the innate ability to respond at a micro level.
The story of Miguel Mallari Jr., while common to the countless stories of suffering in the world, is also outlined by the silver lining of hope and is a testimony to the undying spirit of the human being against apparently insurmountable odds.
Miguel M. Mallari Jr., a 54-year old man living in The Philippines was diagnosed with diabetes that had taken over most of his body. He was admitted to the Loving Mother General Hospital two months ago. He soon found out that his hospital care and medication bills were very expensive and for a man of meager means as Mr. Mallari was, it became extremely difficult for him to cope with the financial adversity that was thrust upon him. Friends and well-wishers came forward to offer financial aid. They chipped in with what they could but it still wasn’t enough. A dear friend started helping him pay the hospital and medication bills but still fell short of the expensive treatment Mr. Mallari was getting at the hospital. Many more friends and family members came forward to help financially or to volunteer to be beside him in the hospital and provide him in whatever ways they could. However, the situation was out of everybody’s hands and expenses kept piling up.
Just before he was scheduled to undergo a leg amputation surgery, because his legs were infected owing to his uncontrolled diabetes, the hospital authorities told him that they could not perform surgery on him unless he clears all of the pending bills of the hospital. The situation, it seemed, for Mr. Mallari was that of pure doom.
Providence, it seems, has a way out of every dark situation. Friends of Mr. Mallari found out about the Borderless Charity and immediately approached Mr. Christopher Franko, the founder of Borderless Charity and the Expanse.tech platform. They shared with him the critical situation Mr. Mallari was in. Without hesitation, Mr. Franko committed himself to help Mr. Mallari through the Borderless Charity. The charity donated half of Mr. Mallari’s hospital bills.
Mr. Mallari decided to live with his friend at his home. He decided to spend whatever time he had surrounded by people he loved and who loved him back. He requested leave from the hospital because he did not want to stay at a place that wasn’t empathetic to the needs of a patient in dire conditions. He chose to live in his friend’s home and his food and shelter was provided by his friend and his loving, caring family.
When he went to the doctor for follow-up, the doctor gave him three months to live because the infection had now spread to his kidneys as well. And yet, Mr. Mallari showed extreme courage and grace under these circumstances although he was saddened by the news of his impending death. He was extremely thankful for the grace and blessings his friends and family had showered upon him. And most of all, he was full of gratitude for the help extended by the Borderless Charity. He said that he will always pray for his friends and the Borderless Charity’s success.
At Borderless Charity, we live by the philosophy that the means of living a better life should not be concentrated with a select few. The disparity among us and our brethren should never stop us from extending a warm, helping hand to those in need. After all, how different are we from them and what stops us from not being in a situation similar to theirs?
Unfortunately, within two months of leaving the hospital, Mr. Miguel Mallari Jr. passed away. He will, no doubt, travel to a better place. However, how we live in this world determines how we travel to the next plane. It also determines what memories and legacy we leave in this world. The greatest achievement of a human is not how much wealth he accumulates but how much kindness and love he receives throughout his life. If you have even one person who truly loves you by your side when you leave this world, your time on this planet was worth its while. We are sure that Mr. Mallari had more than one person with him when he left the world for his eternal journey.
Compelling Quotes from Our Discord Community
Here is a collection of compelling quotes posted over the last two weeks in our various Discord channels:
The first one comes from our CEO, Christopher Franko. He says,
“Crypto is being manipulated and most likely by the people claiming to ‘investigate into it.’ Removing intermediaries is terrifying for intermediaries. For millennia, intermediaries have ruled the world, and they will do anything it takes to undermine anyone looking to unseat them from their throne.”
On a lighter note, someone from the Spanish Channel posted this:
“The General Channel is on fire. Chris is so f***ing mad…..I like it!”
Another wise guy had this to say:
“Sorry, not rich anymore, now I am eating only ramen!
One loyal and enlightened community member said,
“Every newsletter has more good news than most any altcoin… Expanse has one of the strongest teams out there…. real development… no games and strong commitment to their community. Problem lies in utility and exposure. With utility and exposure Expanse will blow up.”
Join our Discord
Expanse Discord is live and kicking! Discord is a great communication platform, better than Slack. Join our growing community on Discord and you can also speak directly with the Expanse team or others in the Expanse community. Sign up for Discord today!. Thank you.
The Expanse Ambassador Program is designed to provide support and guidance for those of you who would like to help us spread the word about Expanse by hosting local meet-ups—wherever you are in the world.
The Expanse team are available to answer your questions and will also assist you by:
Providing Expanse-branded apparel for the meet-up host (the ambassador).
Guiding you through the process of selecting a location.
Supplying Expanse giveaways for drawings or contests.
Assisting with presentation materials.
Providing a small allowance for food and libations for your meet-up guests.
Expanse is thrilled to have you in the Expanse Army. Be sure to join Discord if you are not already part of it at this link: https://Discord.me/expanse – and grateful to all who would like to join the Ambassador Program!