ICO Analysis: Arcona

A Skolkovo-powered Russian start-up set the pace with Augmented Reality apps by developing the so-called “Augmented Reality Time Machine”.

In 2014, Pilgrim XXI made its debut to disrupt the Russian tourist industry for good. This augmented reality app is an open source ecosystem, where contributors can re-create historical events on three-dimensional landscapes in a digital fashion.

The company aims to create a global network of outdoor AR parks, offering tourists an amazing experience. combining their real trip with the concept of time travel.

While Pilgrim XXI is already one of the most exciting tech projects of our era, the company didn’t stop here, as a combined effort supported by Microsoft, Intel, Google, Skolkovo Foundation and Booking.com brings us Arcona.

Arcona is Pilgrim XXI’s second move and can be taken as an attempt to join the blockchain revolution, while at the same time trying to expand their network and digital presence.

The Skolkovo start-up created an open source ecosystem, where contributors can create, buy, rent or lease digital geo-locations, or Digital Land, Arcona’s main asset, in order to incorporate AR in every sector of the physical world’s business.

From a corporate point of view, Arcona creates a new layer of Augmented Reality as space. There is minimal space left on billboards and physical reality, in general, while there is an infinite amount of ads that could fit into the digital version of what we refer to as reality.

For a user, Arcona brings Augmented Reality closer to “normal” since currently, there is not one single universal tool for interacting with Augmented Reality. Arcona gives users the ability to add, edit and offer software and assets that can be traded and used by others within the ecosystem.

Creating an indoor AR can be easy nowadays, but setting an outdoor scene of several hectares can be challenging, as the developer must travel to the location, and consume time, money and effort. With Arcona, you can access any geo-location remotely as it visually combines virtual and physical space powered by developers and consumers.

Arcona wants to upscale the concept behind AR on a global scale. Currently, we have more than ten AR systems and each of them supports a single specific hand-held device such as an iPhone, or specific VR glasses etc. Arcona wants to create a cross-platform experience through their ecosystem where more people could access and use AR from anywhere, anytime.

Pilgrim XXI uses blockchain technology to ensure and identify users and land ownership, transfer and marketization.

An operational example of the platform would look like this:

  • An outdoor AR park is designed and built by Arcona and their community workers.
  • Contributors get paid in Arcona tokens according to their contribution level.
  • The park is open for public, and tourists can visit the AR park to experience a time travel paradox, watching historical events about the area, or conceptual events to come on the area.
  • Professional advertisers will expand their market into AR spaces to entertain AR visitors/users in every corner of the world. Users get paid for watching AR ads in Arcona tokens.

Token

Arcona’s ecosystem and economy are relying on their native utility token. This ERC-20 token is necessary for the ecosystem to function properly and being able to establish smart contracts between developers, clients, brokers and consumers within the ecosystem.

The token is also the main currency which is used to purchase or sell Digital Land, and/or other software or digital assets within the Arcona ecosystem.

Arcona token holders will have the right to contribute to the formation of the ecosystem by developing software blocks and visual AR content, as well as by testing the system.

The total token supply is set at 135,000,000 Arcona. The hard cap for the ICO is set at $25 million dollars, while the starting price per Arcona is set at 0.0025 ETH.

60% of the total tokens will be released during the ICO sales. 31% is reserved for Arcona, of which 20% goes to the team, and 11% is reserved as the development fund. Additionally, advisors get the 7% and 2% will be distributed to bounty participants.

Team

Ilia Korguzalov, CEO & Founder, has nine years of experience in the laboratory of the Peter the Great Museum in Saint Petersburg, restoring arts and an additional 15 years experience in business development.

Diana Sorina, CEO/CMO & Founder, has over 12 years of experience in different forms of digital and physical marketing.

Dr. Igor Rozhdestvensky, CSO & Founder, has Ph.D. in theoretical and mathematical physics and IT, and  a 20-year track record in entrepreneurship.

Tatiana Chernih, Founder, has over a decade worth of experience in journalism and PR.

Daniel Girdea, Founder, has more than six years of experience in the construction and real estate.

In the team of advisers we can find Lyubov Simonova, an angel investor on various technological projects on the internet, George Popescu who has several high positions on numerous online platforms and marketplaces, James Haft, who is adviser or co-founder of global ICOs and token offerings, Kairat Kaliyev, founder of Cross Coin currently focusing on project development, Sergei Chmel, who established in almost 20 years several companies in different areas and Sergey Khitov, who will serve as mentor and blockchain expert.

The team looks solid overall, with people who have experience in creating Augmented Reality projects as well as marketing and business-focused solutions.

Verdict

This project of Augmented Reality is a futuristic concept that will enable us to experience different aspects of our everyday lives at any time, anywhere. It can group us with people, regardless of our distance, either from a business or an entertainment point of view.

It can also bring us closer to other people’s ideas. It is easier to understand one another when you can visually witness what the other wants to show you, than hearing about it. When you can create anything you imagine in 3D for others to see, the whole concept of conception shifts meaning.

Arcona wants to do the first step of reaching that level. With this project, 3D editors and animators will be able to create a library of every animation requested by people in Arcona. The more the library grows, the more people can express themselves through Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality has its positives and negatives, such as every aspect of life, and while the positives are many, there are a few negatives that should be mentioned. One of them is the excessive addition of commercial messages inside the cyber world, to the point that it becomes annoying or even unhealthy for the user.

Another part that users should be careful is the addiction to Augmented Reality. It won’t be long before this technology is available in a variety of new devices, such as projectors on our sunglasses, for example. Users will be able to exist both in physical reality as well as inside a virtual lobby of digital content, and that can be either a gift or a curse.

Risks

From an investor’s perspective, the following facts are important to consider when weighing Arcona:

  • AR is a step ahead of VR, and VR is yet to be commercial. While we all enjoyed PokemonGo for a couple months, AR systems are still years behind in development and pragmatic real-life use-cases. -2,5
  • It may sound spooky, but being paid for watching virtual ads is really something we’re eventually going to face sooner or later. Creating tailored ads just for you to see in Augmented Reality can be almost unethical at the moment. -2
  • Many spatial locations have copyrighted content that you might not be able to pay for or even use in some cases. It might sound really interesting as a conceptual project, but in fact, it will be really difficult to convince governments to allow you to re-create 3D models of their societies and alter them on a digital level. Therefore we assume that in the beginning, there will be a preset amount of various locations to “play with”. -3

Growth Opportunity

  • On the other hand, having a decentralized multi-platform supporting Augmented Reality is definitely an aspect of the near future. Arcona is not one of the first, but the pioneer company behind this concept. +4
  • This Skolkovo-powered start-up is backed by Microsoft and Intel among other industrial titans, while it is also funded by the major ICO angel “Wings”. These companies wouldn’t risk their name for something that has no vision. +3,5
  • AR can help us recreate historical events, and in a sense cheat time on a small scale. A whole new wave of tourism is here, where you can explore places literally built from scratch just to please your visual sensors. Not to mention how this new space could benefit the marketing and advertising sectors. +2,5
  • 135,000,000 Arcona is a decent total cap for such a cheap token. 0.0025 ETH is currently equal to ~$1,60. Similar total supplies come from Binance and Nano, with their price per unit at $13,80 and $7,37 respectively. +3,5

Disposition

Although it can generate interesting growth when it enters the market, Arcona will need most of the initial capital raise in order to headstart with a few outdoor parks, meaning that the price will most likely sink as soon as it enters the commercial cryptocurrency market.

KYC (Know Your Customers) is mandatory for many, if not most, ICOs in order to secure the sales period by scammers and unwanted individuals. It is uncomfortable to know that a project so highly supported by various firms and governments is not using this simple security technique.

A score of 6 out of 10 is reserved for Arcona, based on present facts.

Investment Details

  • Type: Utility
  • Symbol: ARCONA
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Pre-Sale: Apr. 15, 2018
  • Public Sale: May 16, 2018
  • Hard Cap: $25 million
  • Payments Accepted: ETH, BTC (No KYC)

Official Website

Whitepaper

Disclaimer: The writer has no position in Arcona at the time of writing.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.