As it matures, Ethereum becomes increasingly interesting from both a financial and a cryptocurrency/cryptographic perspective. The platform is truly what you would call “Blockchain 2.0” because, as intended by creator Vitalik Buterin, the global community of Ethereans continue to expand and develop new technologies on top of it, technologies which would not have been possible in a “Bitcoin maximalist” utopia for years to come as well as would never have been possible at all in traditional financial modes.
We have to acknowledge that most of these efforts, though, will fail. Some will come too early, some will fade in the noise generated by competing efforts, and some will fail due to bad execution. It’s never a horrible call to invest a few bucks into anything; if you spread your wad over many baskets, some are bound to grow and make up for the losers. For instance, if the author some years back had put twice as much into Bitcoin as he had into US Steel, by now he’d be so financially comfortable that analysis of any sort would seem to be an unnecessary interruption of his life-long vacation.
Today we’re going to analyze BitCAD, which is working in the same space as Aragon. It aims to:
…[provide] a venue for seamless integration of business and computer technology. BitCAD will help users to automate routine business processes, find business opportunities globally and locally, make instant value transactions and resolve disputes in a trustless environment.
Let’s just put it out there right now, before we get too far: everything, literally everything being described as intended use of BitCAD, can be done on Aragon through extensions to the platform. This could lead to the above described phenomena wherein one or the other will be drowned out in the noise of the other. Aragon already has a stable alpha release. Yet, it can also be that co-existence is possible, even if it is not the tendency of networked services. Bing Search and Google Search co-exist, Bitcoin and Ethereum co-exist. The question is which is better for the user, which is more profitable, and so forth. That is what we will carefully determine here, knowing too that others will come along with similar ideas and that others are doubtlessly already active in the same space.
Ease-of-use, of course, is important. BitCAD apparently aims to achieve this with a simplified smart contract constructor platform, so that businesses with few if any programmers can still participate. Another interesting feature is that they will allow authors of smart contracts to make money by selling contract templates to businesses. “Standards bodies” are mentioned here, but not expanded upon. Such bodies could mean law schools and the like, as the enforceability of contracts occasionally relies on the courts. It could also just be expert smart contract authors. Hard to say at this point.
Another novelty is the addition of biometric security. This is quickly becoming a buzzword, so it should be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, only a few blockchain-based technologies have successfully integrated it, and this is in part due to the potential of compromise of such information via hacking and other means.
Who’s Behind It
Lots of issues with this part of the project. It’s hard to make heads or tails of the biography of Vlad Mitrofanov:
Vladislav is an entrepreneur with the software engineer education. Has a unique experience above 10 years of business development in various industries with the application of social architecture within the working community. Vladislav is founder of the scientific approach of applied methods Cryptonautic in the blockchain and the invisible but described smart sphere based on neural networks and quantum cryptography.
What exactly “founder of the scientific approach of applied methods Cryptonautic in the blockchain” is supposed to mean, it’s hard to decipher, even forgiving poor English skills (which, when dealing with financial ventures, is not a great idea.) He appears to have previously worked at a company called Device Me that brings up nothing when you search it on the web, which doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist but rather that it’s probably in Russian but not English somewhere or other.
Developer Andrey Pintsev, on the other hand, appears to have a good deal of experience in software development, which is needed given the lack of information on some of the others here. Pintsev was a lead software engineer at Net Cracker, a business-oriented software company based in Massachussetts.
CTO Evgeniy Ilyushin developed software for a Russian university in Moscow and has extensively worked for PRADO Group, which is a real estate firm in Russia.
Then we have the red herring of Dmitry, who gives us no profile photo, links, or real background information. This is a huge offense in terms of safety ratings. Why even list him at all? It serves to do nothing but raise suspicion. He is listed as the “Chief Scientist,” and this is all we get regarding him:
We previously docked Adel a full point (later updated) for failing to tell us anything about Robert Gasch, their senior architect. BitCAD will get even worse treatment for having several other problems, but we’ll get to that after the investment details.
The BitCAD ICO was originally supposed to begin on May 4th, but then they needed another week to get their biometric verification solution in place. Unfortunately, that week has passed and they are still not live with the ICO. In one sense, this is a plus because they are not trying to get their hands on your money before they are ready to use it. We must sometimes be forgiving of things like this, as code is hard work and developing new solutions is even harder work than maintaining existing ones.
Whenever it does go live, the ICO will be at ico.bitcad.io. The initial price will be close to a dollar per BCO, purchasable in at least Bitcoin and Ether. It is supposed to run for four weeks. As you can see in this chart initially posted for the 5/4 assumed launch date, you get more tokens the earlier you buy in:
The total token supply will be 100 million tokens, and they will be distributed in the following fashion:
- 51 million will be sold during the crowdsale.
- 20 million “among founders, early backers and the development team. Founders, early backers and the development team are rewarded with BitCAD tokens for their efforts, resources, and technologies contributed to the development of the BitCAD.”
- 2 million will be given out in “bounties,” which are incentives for people to expand and support the platform.
- The remaining coins will be spent building the platform out, which could in some way also enrich the people in category 2 (above).
Folks, we might have a loser on our hands. As first noted, this platform is not offering a lot in terms of novelty. People will be able to implement biometric verification, tracking, and all of the above into Aragon and other platforms. Novelty is not all that matters, good branding and management also count. We don’t appear to see much of that here, as well as low-information in general. A poorly written whitepaper tops it off, along with a nearly 49% withholding of coins for various purposes to the development team. If the goal is for the coins to be worth $1 each, then a 49 million dollar funding round is hard to achieve for even truly novel and well-developed ideas!
Given that we originally rated Adel, which has an active team, good information, and great branding, a 4.9 on a scale of 0 to 10, it would be totally unfair to give BitCAD any higher than a 3.75.
At least in terms of ICO material. If the team is truly dedicated to what they are doing, they will realize some of the problems noted and they will work to solve them over time. They could recover, that is, and become a good investment vehicle as well as platform. But at present they don’t appear serious enough about what their doing. This could be due to a lack of real experience at the executive level, which is always valuable. Some lessons must be learned the hard way. One thing is for certain, this author won’t be buying or holding any BCO – but that doesn’t mean others with more liquid in their investment account shouldn’t take a long shot on them. However, with such a high initial offering price, it seems unlikely that many will, which only increases the risk of extreme negative volatility for those who do.
If your heart tells you to invest and your head takes no issue with the information provided above, then, please, don’t let this author stop you from placing your bet on this horse. This author is not opposed to being proven wrong, not by any stretch.