The story behind Jesse’s development

Tomorrow I’ll be releasing the long-awaited live trade plugin for Jesse which is the last missing piece of the puzzle to turn Jesse into a complete trading bot. I decided to share with you the journey that I went through in the last three years.

How it all begun

I started coding the first version of Jesse three years ago. I did it because neither of the other bots whether open-source or commercial ones offered the features that I needed for coding my manually-traded strategies. Features such as the ability to use multiple timeframes without falling victim to the look-ahead bias (which I learned the hard way about its importance).

Back then, I was a web developer, highly in love with two frameworks I used daily: Laravel (PHP) and VueJS (javascript). I loved them for how simple they were to use while being powerful at the same time. I learned that the simpler a framework is to use, the more brain energy I have left to spend on the actual thing that I’m trying to build. After all, that is the reason Python is so popular too. So I built a trading bot with the same concepts that I learned from Laravel and VueJS. And the result was: Jesse, a trading bot that not only is the most powerful bot on the Internet but also has the simplest API for building your strategies. I built Jesse for my own use, but after a while, I wanted to see if it’s indeed as good as I thought it is. And I was already an open-source developer with more than 2 years of experience in open-source development.

So I did it the only way I knew, I open-sourced it. Although, back then it was written in TypeScript! Huge mistake BTW, but I fixed that by migrating to Python in April of 2020.

I shared it in a couple of groups including Reddit, and boom! People loved it!

I spent the next year trading, and working on the development gigs that I received to pay my bills. After a while, most of the gigs were related to trading. I also spent a few months in a full-time job at a crypto hedge fund as the head quantitive developer. During all these times I saw even more potential in Jesse and realized what problems it can solve for both retail traders and hedge funds. And all of that was when I had a limited time to spend on it; imagine if I were full-time on Jesse’s development!

My next chapter

So starting March, I decided to go full-time on Jesse and trading (using Jesse of course). For Jesse, I’ll be focusing on creating new features, strategies, and educational content about algo-trading. I’ll be bringing hedge fund-level tools and strategies to Jesse for everybody to use!

I even got a semi-professional mic to create screencasts soon!

I also want to add more outstanding features such as: Integration with DEXes such as PankaceSwap. A way to use alternative data in your strategies such as on-chain data, S&P500, the dollar index, Bitcoin dominance, etc. Host the data on our own servers and give access to it with fewer limits so you don’t have to wait as much. And much more which I don’t want to spoil at this time.

To do all of this, I need time, so I’m not accepting new development gigs anymore. Hence I need Jesse to pay the bills for me so I don’t have to eventually shut down the project as all other open-source bots such as Gecko and Zenbot did eventually.

I came up with a list of solutions for monetization based on the feedback that I got from the community:

  • Donations

Since many of you were involved in this decision, I think it’s only fair if I shared with you the summary of each option’s cons and pros for me:

Donations: based on years of my experience in open-source, I know for a fact that the percentage of people who donate is very low. And that number is even lower in a project such as Jesse that has far fewer users than a web framework like VueJS. Donation-based projects are constantly fighting for their survival and I don’t want that for Jesse to be the case. I need ease of mind to do what I do best.

Getting sponsored by exchanges: I did reach out to a few crypto exchanges and what I realized was that they’re not exactly the nicest people. They don’t care for their users or open-source as they claim to all the time. One of them explicitly rejected us for “being open-source” and “not having a monitoring mechanism” in place! This really pissed me off because traders are often the most secretive people I know. If anyone cares about privacy, it’s traders who are exchange users! I don’t like the idea of being dependent on such companies.

Issuing a token: This one tempted me because we’re in a bull market and we’ve all seen how easy it is to make millions by merely issuing a token. But I don’t like the idea of just issuing a token, and then thinking about its use cases. I believe it should be the other way. Projects should only issue tokens if they’re trying to solve a problem that only a token can solve. Otherwise, it’s just a scheme to become rich and dump the tokens on investors. The early investors would win, and the late ones would lose. I can’t live with myself doing that to people.

SaaS: Let me briefly remind those of you who might not remember what SaaS is:

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted

This business model has been becoming more and more popular and I think it’s for a good reason. This approach comes with its cons and pros:

The good thing about it is that the installation time is reduced to zero. You instantly start trading and we can even deploy features such as copy-trading easily and maybe start a strategy marketplace.

The bad thing about SaaS for trading is that you’d have to give up your privacy. Your strategies will be hosted by a third party and we in the crypto space tend to not trust third parties. On the other hand, building and maintaining such a platform would require so much more work and resources which I don’t have at this time.

So I’m not fully rejecting this idea but it’s not for this very moment. Maybe one day I offer a SaaS too to those who don’t care about privacy as much as I personally do.

Selling the live trade as a premium plugin: You pay for the live trade plugin and gain access to the package. You install it with pip, enter your login info so your license gets validated, and then you can run live sessions with your current Jesse project (the one you have all your strategies in it). Nothing fancy or complicated. You host your own bot with the help of our guide and/or installation scripts, and you also have full privacy over your strategies.

This is the most boring solution I could think of, but also the most sufficient one.

Basically, almost everything that you need for becoming profitable at algo-trading is already offered by Jesse for free: Cleaned data, educational content, backtests, evaluation metrics, and even a sophisticated optimization mode. Once you developed a profitable strategy using those features, the next step is to plug it into an exchange and start earning money with it. At this point, you can pay for the live trade plugin once, and own it forever. That’s it!

I will be offering bonuses that come with it such as my own most profitable strategy that I have come up with over the past three years! I’ve been trading it for more than a year now.

I’ll discuss the pricing and details of the package in my next article that is due tomorrow.

I appreciate your contributions

So there you have the reasoning behind my decision. But I wasn’t entirely happy with it. I still wanted the live trade to be accessible to everyone; especially to contributors of the project during the last 3 years. So I decided to give generous discounts to all contributors of the community. Everybody will get discounts from 1–100% based on the amount of contributions they made. I’ll discuss the details of this in my next article.

I hired a web developer to help with the website which frees more of my time to spend more on Jesse. I intend to run some kind of paid program or hire new developers so that would free more of my time so I can spend my time doing what I do best. It all depends on the community and the feedback I get from you guys.

Roadmap

We now have a roadmap page on the documentation. I also created three Trello pages with the upcoming tasks:

  • Main Framework: Tasks related to the open-source framework

You’re more than welcome to add your ideas to it or pick one for contribution.

Telegram and YouTube channels

I created a Telegram channel which will be the fastest way to be notified about the new updates.

I also created a YouTube channel a while ago which is where I intend to publish screencast tutorials about Jesse and algo-trading in general. Please subscribe.

Happy trading!

Originally published at https://jesse.trade.

I write about algotrading. I do my best to publish practical tutorials.

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