Security Leaderboard Showcase - AMA with HOGE Finance

Originally published
May 20, 2021

Each week, we host top names in DeFi on the CertiK Security Leaderboard Live AMA. This week, we had the pleasure of inviting Joseph and Hunter from HOGE, better known as Hogeman and Wiser in the project’s Telegram and Discord channels.

If you missed the stream, don’t worry: here’s a recap of some of what was discussed.

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What is HOGE and how did you get involved?

Hunter: I invested in HOGE on Febraury 27th, and since then I’ve been getting more and more involved until eventually Hogeman himself decided to bring me onto the team. HOGE is a community-driven token that as of tomorrow will have been around for three months.

Joseph: I’ve been with the HOGE project since 48 hours after it launched. By day I’m a research scientist and software developer and that takes up maybe 25% of my time because the rest of it is just dumped into the HOGE project nonstop.

The HOGE project is centered around a token that was launched on the Ethereum blockchain, so it’s an ERC-20 token which features deflationary tokenomics. It followed a fair launch, which means the original developers put it out there, the entire supply was moved onto Uniswap, and then they gave up control of the smart contract. So anybody who wanted to get the token had to buy in. After that, they just gave it over to the community and wanted to see if the community could take it somewhere.

The deflationary aspect means that every time there’s a transaction with the token 2% is taxed and about 1% of that is redistributed to all the holders, weighted by your wallet percentage.

Hunter: I think that’s a pretty good rundown. As of recently we’ve formed a DAO-hybrid model, which we hope to bring fully into a DAO where the community gets a say in everything. And hopefully people like Joseph and myself can take a step back and let this be 100% community driven. We’re really excited for that day.

Do we know who the original founder of HOGE is?

Joseph: No, no we don’t. They remained anonymous. What happened is after a few days, everyone was waiting around, there were maybe 300 people in the Telegram chat waiting to see what would happen. Like are we going to abandon this, or are we going to keep it going? Someone said “I’ll make a website,” another person said “I’ll make a browser game,” and then another person said “I’ll make an NFT printer” (that was me) so we decided to start collaborating and working together.

Hunter: It’s taken a whole lot of community effort and honestly a whole lot of luck to get to the point where we are. We have this beautiful wallet distribution in terms of no one person controlling more than 1% of the total supply.

You guys have a clearly-demonstrated interest in security, something that’s a little bit unexpected from such a community-driven project. What drove you to seek out an audit, to work with CertiK, to onboard the Skynet solution?

Hunter: I think in the world of cryptocurrency there’s just so many questions around security. And with HOGE we actually have seen a lot of first-time cryptocurrency buyers. We see it constantly in the chat where people are saying “Hey, this is the first project I’ve gotten into.” We realize it’s very important to have as much transparency into HOGE as possible. That’s what we want to show.

And CertiK is world-renowned as being one of the top names in security for cryptocurrency. So partnering with CertiK and having them look into all the nooks and crannies of everything that we’re doing is exactly what we were going for. That’s why this partnership has been so great for us.

How did the auditing process go for the HOGE team?

Joseph: I remember when this started, a lot of the people who had been in the blockchain space said “We’ve got to get a CertiK audit, we’ve got to get a CertiK audit.” I didn’t understand it, because I haven’t been doing blockchain startups for a long time. This is pretty much my first one. So I was like “I mean you could, but we have 10 or more Solidity developers in the chat and they’re saying that the code is fine, so what’s the big deal.

But it has been a really good experience. You guys lend a lot of credibility and you went much deeper than some of the other developers did. I think we had just a few minor points like variable shadowing in the code, and there was some dead code. The original developers weren’t too concerned with the code aspect, they were concerned with the community aspect. Hunter, do you want to speak about the “centralization issue?”

Hunter: There was one privilege that exists for us. We have one power, basically, and that is to whitelist or blacklist people from the redistribution. Now the main reason this exists is because when we first started listing on exchanges like WhiteBIT we realized they were amassing very large wallets, and these [exchange] wallets were getting the redistribution. However, not every single exchange that gets that redistribution currently has the technology in place to determine how much goes to each user. So some of these exchanges said “Hey, we just got an extra $50,000 in HOGE this month, what do we do with it?” So that’s why we have this one power, which is to exclude an exchange from this redistribution. I think this was one of the notes in the audit that was mentioned.

Joseph: Although we can include or exclude wallets, that’s held in a multi-sig by people that are trusted in the community. In the near future it’s looking like we’ll add the burn wallet as the owner, so no one can ever touch the smart contract.

The problem with these meme coins is that users have no way to assess the risk of their investment. They look at it and they say “I don’t know, it feels kind of sketchy. I have this browser plugin which will apparently eat my money, and then I go to this site I’ve never heard of and then the numbers change, is that what I’m supposed to be doing?” And then there’s a lot of scams going around, there are a lot of hacks going around. There’s a lot of trust issues, right now. Although the financial trust issues are aligned for individual users, it’s very hard to understand all of this. And it’s insanely complicated! I’m not knocking anyone for not understanding this, it took me a long time.

So we reached out to CertiK, we negotiated about how the audit is going to proceed, and the Skynet score makes a lot of sense because it’s an ongoing thing. You want to make sure that no-one is manipulating the price, so Skynet will keep an eye on that. You want to make sure that there’s enough liquidity in the liquidity pool for the decentralized exchanges, and you want to make sure that people aren’t making calls to the smart contract doing shady things. That’s what Skynet tells you, it’s telling you that yes it’s stable and the numbers aren’t suddenly going to go to zero.

In addition to that, it gives a big boost in credibility to say that we’re working with industry-standard partners that know what they’re doing and they’re going to be honest with the community regardless of what we want.

HOGE has done some charitable campaigns, specifically around animal shelters. Can you talk some more about your work there and any future plans?

Hunter: Absolutely. That is a core principle of HOGE. One of the founding principles is being able to take the interests of the community, especially their charitable interests, and begin to promote it, begin to invest in it, begin to give back. The amazing thing is we’re already seeing people give back some of the money they’ve made. We’ve been able to raise over $90,000 in our first few weeks which all went towards animal shelters. Pretty soon we’re going to be sponsoring and partnering with several different charities.

When do you expect to be on a U.S. exchange?

Hunter: I’ll tell everyone what we’ve consistently said to the community. I can’t give dates, there is nothing set in stone. With getting into the U.S. there’s a whole lot to be decided around SEC regulation and compliance. We’ve recently brought in one of the top cryptocurrency lawyers who is helping us get everything we need to be able to converse with these U.S. exchanges. We’re aiming for June. I will say that if we’re not on by the end of June, someone in our community will be upset.

Joseph: I put it on the roadmap for Q2, it’s happening in Q2.

Are there any other noteworthy upcoming developments on the project?

Joseph: I’ve been working on the non-fungible token smart contracts webserver, which will eventually become an e-commerce platform. That’s a popular roadmap item for these coins, because when you browse around it looks like you can copy-paste OpenSea or Rairible or Nifty. But it’s actually a significant amount of work, both in the partnerships you bring to have artists or musicians, but also the platform itself and running through the payments and the transactions and all of the features.

So the upcoming phase of our NFT printing will be happening next week. For everyone holding HOGE you get to make one, just one, like the original. The printer itself will be live for 48 hours, so there’s a limited time window in which you can make it. All you have to pay for is the gas fees.

Where do you see HOGE in five years from now?

Joseph: In five years time, I hope the project continues to grow and succeed and raise awareness about the solutions that blockchain can bring to the modern world. And there are a lot of problems we have right now — the restructuring of financial systems and various tools to help facilitate transactions — it’s going to solve a lot of the current societal issues. But it’s a hard road to get there, and HOGE helps people get to that point.

Hunter: My personal goals are two things. Number one is usecases and more usecases. As we say a lot, this project is going to go exactly as far as the community wants to take it. The community is already talking daily in our voice chats about this idea they have for a usecase, that idea they have for a usecase. And seeing that come to fruition — which it already has — is amazing. And the other thing I’d like to see is anyone on any sort of official team to be able to take a step back, just re-form into a member of the community just like anyone else and simply allow the DAO to run everything.

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That wrapped up this week’s AMA with Joseph and Hunter from HOGE Finance. For more AMA sessions with top DeFi and crypto projects, keep an eye on our social channels and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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