ICO Analysis: Cardium

Venture capitalist Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Blockchain Capital is looking to “tokenize the world,” and he recently said that eventually, all assets will be on the blockchain. He might get his wish sooner than he thinks, as evidenced by one of the latest blockchain startups planning an ICO.

Russia-based Cardium basically brings FitBit to the blockchain with a proprietary device dubbed fitness tracker that’s similarly worn on the wrist and is the heart of the project. Cardium, which is designed to tackle the issue of obesity and the chronic diseases it leaves in its wake, like diabetes and cancer, tokenizes daily activity and incentives users with a digital currency as a reward.

It’s a massive ecosystem, one comprised not only of a native digital currency but also a partner gym-fueled mining pool that generates additional tokens that fuel the platform. The reason for gym-mining is to motivate members to participate in high-speed mining activity at participating gyms and while they’re there, exercising and socializing.

The problem Cardium is looking to solve is real, as evidenced by predictions for excess weight and obesity to affect 20% of the global population by 2025. These issues are especially pervasive in but not limited to developing nations. Cardium believes that by incentivizing its members with a reward for physical activity, whether high-intensity or moderate, people will prioritize cardiovascular activity. Cardium is looking to ride the wave of the second generation of wearable devices, one that Cardium believes will work in tandem with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology for autonomous smart devices.

Here are a few of the features of its device:

  • “Tracking the number of steps and calories and setting goals”
  • “Monitoring the effectiveness and quality of sleep”
  • “Heart rate measurement

For every calorie users burn, they receive Cardium tokens.


Cardium (CAD) is an ERC-20 smart-contract fueled token on the Ethereum network. CAD tokens that are generated from mining can be directed toward the partner network, such as gym membership discounts and sports product promotions, for instance. Cardium estimates that by consuming 2,000 KCALs per day, users can earn 2.64 CAD tokens daily based on the number of calories burned. Cardium has placed a ceiling on the lifetime number of tokens at 475,372,000,000 based on expectations to reach 100 million people over a decade. Any unused tokens will be burned.

Source: Cardium White Paper


Cardium’s management team is comprised of four co-founders.

Philipp Klimov is founder and CEO. He boasts experience at leading Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky and experience in DDoS prevention, which bolsters the security profile of Cardium.

Alexander Perminov, anothe co-founder, specializes in data analytics.

Co-Founder Roman Chistyakov brings two decades of experience at major Russian corporations to the table, including Accenture, Rosneft and others.

Sergey Chernikov, co-founder and CTO, specializes in “database design, performance and high-load systems.”


Cardium makes it difficult to disagree with physical fitness on the blockchain, and the partner network adds another layer of engagement. Investors should bear in mind, however, that the fitness tracker device wasn’t even a twinkle in the eye of its developers a year ago. It was born at the height of the cryptocurrency fever in December 2017.

While that doesn’t undermine the deal, it does increase the risk. Cardium must promote their brand and people must be willing to use their ecosystem. Otherwise, the reward tokens lose their appeal. If their roadmap materializes, this project could be a winner.


  • Cardium is a new concept that began at year-end 2017. While the startup has a defined roadmap through year-end 2018, it’s unclear if their fitness tracker is in development yet (samples are being tested this month, according to the company’s roadmap). There’s no history of performance or guarantee the market has room for another fitness tracker. -2.5
  • This brings up another risk, which is the possibility that a company like FitBit, that has proven sales, or worse Google or Apple, which similarly boast wearable products, could decide to integrate blockchain technology and issue digital tokens, which would raise the competition stakes significantly. -2

Growth Opportunity

  • Demand for wearable devices is on the rise, as illustrated below. Meanwhile, and while this part is unfortunate, the number of people with an excessive body mass index (BMI) is also increasing. Cardium has figured out a way to capitalize on each of these trends while at the same time improving the health of the global population. +4
Source: Cardium White Paper
  • Even though Cardium hasn’t generated any sales yet, they have a defined path to do so. The company will generate revenue from sales of the fitness tracker, a device by which all physical activity is measured and sent back to a smartphone and later to Cardium. They expect in year one to “attract” 10 million people and generate EBITDA of USD 150 million. +3
  • Innovation. Cardium’s concept of tokenizing daily activities could be brilliant. Consider the former wildly popular US television competition, “The Biggest Loser”. For 17 seasons, overweight contestants were tasked with losing weight by the carrot and stick method including a USD 250,000 prize reserved for one lucky winner. +3.5
  • Cardium is being advised by Moscow-based Conner & Company for the ICO. This relationship provides greater transparency to potential ICO participants and is a plus. +1.5


We arrive at a score of 7.5 out of 10 for the Cardium ICO.

Investment Details

  • Token Type: Utility
  • Platform: ERC20/Ethereum
  • Symbol: CAD
  • Public Crowdsale: June 1 to June 30, 2018
  • Number of Tokens to be Issued: 475,372,000,000
  • Price: One CAD = USD 0.25 (Participants who invest more than USD 250 will receive a free fitness tracker device.)
  • Payment Method: Ethereum
  • Jurisdiction Banned: The United States and South Korea

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Gerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.