ICO Analysis: Carry Protocol

It would probably surprise most people to know that 90% of retail purchases happen in the real world (brick and mortar stores vs. online).

Of course, with such heavy transaction volume, a lot of data is being generated.

As it stands, this data is often monetized without consumer consent or knowledge.

Carry aims to change all of this.

With Carry Protocol, not only do consumers benefit by regaining control of their transaction data, anonymously monetizing it, and gaining digital coupons and loyalty points, but merchants and advertisers benefit in a variety of ways as well.

By using Carry Protocol, merchants get to benefit from the following advantages:

  1. Ability to accept digital currency in their brick and mortar stores. Merchants will benefit from more ways to get paid, and customers will have more payment options
  2. Faster payment processing – by accepting cryptocurrency, merchants can benefit from much quicker payments than those offered by credit cards
  3. Build brand loyalty – merchants will be able to incentivize customers to come back by offering things like digital coupons and custom branded digital tokens

Advertisers get to use consolidated offline transaction data and reach their target audience(s) with no advertising fees (buy Carry’s tokens instead).


Carry Protocol uses a token known as CRE (pronounced “carry”).

On one hand, consumers use CRE to pay merchants (though Carry Protocol also works with fiat, credit, or other crypto payments like BTC and ETH). They can also choose to share their anonymized transaction data with advertisers or keep it to themselves. If they choose to share, they are rewarded with CRE or BT (brands’ custom tokens – function like rewards or loyalty points).

Merchants use CRE to either create custom brand tokens or other kinds of smart contracts.

Advertisers purchase CRE to gain access to large amounts of offline transaction data.

There is a total of 10 billion CRE, and the tokens are distributed as follows.

  • 40% Token Sale
  • 25% Partnerships
  • 15% Marketing
  • 10% Team
  • 5% Reserve
  • 5% Advisors

In the Carry whitepaper, inflation is mentioned, but the inflation mechanism is not exactly specified.

40% of the total token supply, or 4 billion CRE, are for sale.

The soft cap on fundraising is 25,000 ETH while the hard cap is 47,000 ETH.

Pre-sale Information

There was a pre-sale, which already ended. The pre-sale had a maximum individual contribution of 50 ETH and 15% bonus, making the pre-sale price 1 ETH = 74,750 CRE.

Pre-sale investors are subject to a 3 month lockup, with funds being unlocked linearly beginning 1 month after the ICO.

Pre-sale funding was limited to 5,000 ETH total and 373,750,000 CRE, or 3.7375% of the total 10 billion token supply, were sold.

Public sale or ICO Information

For the ICO, contribution limits have yet to be specified, but the token price is 1 ETH = 65,000 CRE.

There is no lockup period for ICO participants.

ICO funding is limited to 5,000 ETH and 325,000,000 CRE, or 3.25% of the total supply, are for sale.

What’s worrying is that the rest of the token sale tokens, or about 3.3 billion tokens (about 82.5% of token sale tokens or 33% of all CRE tokens) are for private investors. Combined with the fact that there is no information on private investor lockups, contribution limits, or bonuses, this is potentially very worrying.

All unsold CRE tokens will be burnt.

Token sale proceeds will be allocated as follows.

  • 30% Research and Development
  • 25% Payment Hardware for Merchants
  • 20% Operations & Business Development
  • 15% Sales and Marketing
  • 10% Other/Reserve


The team behind Carry is strong.

Carry is being developed by Spoqa, which runs South Korea’s biggest brick and mortar rewards platform.

Dodo, Spoqa’s rewards points platform, has 10,000 partner stores across Korea and Japan, 15 million users, and tracks over $2 billion in transaction data annually.

Carry will in fact be launched on the tablets Dodo already supplies merchants to allow for Carry to be integrated quickly into a real, working retail ecosystem. According to the Carry website, Carry is “literally set to roll out overnight”.

Co-CEO Grant Sohn is a Stanford University economics graduate and was a business consultant at McKinsey before he helped Wimdu become the world’s 2nd biggest online platform for short-term accommodation as Managing Director of Asia. Afterwards, he and Co-Founder Richard Choi founded Spoqa.

Co-CEO Richard Choi has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and Cornell University respectively. He spent 3 years at SK Chemicals (parent company SK Group – another huge South Korean conglomerate with estimated revenues of $116 billion in 2016) before co-founding Spoqa with Sohn.

Advisors include the following:

  • Simon Kim, CEO at Hashed, a leading crypto investment fund in South Korea that’s also behind projects like Icon (another big Korean project that had a HUGE ICO), Medibloc, and more. Kim also organizes Hashed Lounge, a premier Seoul blockchain meetup. He was Chief Product Officer at Knowre, an ed-tech startup named by Fast Company as one of the Top 10 Most Innovation Companies in Education.
  • Lily Liu, Co-Founder at Earn.com, acquired by Coinbase for $100m.
  • Shaun Djie – Co-Founder of DigixGlobal, which lets users buy gold tokenized as DGX tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, and is also founder of the Ethereum Singapore meetup. Digix was actually one of the first ever ICOs.

While not Carry, parent company Spoqa boasts some important partners:

  • Kakao – more or less a Google-level Internet conglomerate in South Korea. Everyone in the country uses its messaging app, Kakaotalk to text each other
  • Line – another huge messaging app run by Line Corporation, a Japanese subsidiary of Naver, South Korea’s Google (Naver is South Korea’s web portal, and everyone uses Naver instead of Google to search). Line’s reach is massive – it is the go-to messaging app in Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan and also immensely popular in countries like Indonesia.
  • Facebook

Spoqa’s clients include Nike, Grand Hyatt, and JW Marriott.

Spoqa is backed by investors, such as Hashed and Draper Dragon.


Below is a breakdown of the risks and growth potential associated with Carry.


  • No working product. (-1.5)
  • No information on private sale (bonuses, contribution limits, lockups, etc.) and huge allocation to private investors. (-1.5)
  • Potential inflation (unspecified). (-1)

Growth Potential

  • Spoqa’s huge, existing rewards platform Dodo gives Carry a huge base to work off of. (+4)
  • All-star team, advisors, and investors. (+3)
  • Korea, Carry’s initial target market, is deal for something like this because of how tech-savvy the country is. Almost everyone in Korea has used crypto or knows about it. Japan, the other country that Dodo, Spoqa’s reward points platform, operates in, is also extremely progressive when it comes to crypto. (+3)


Though Carry has a great team and great parent company (Spoqa) with great product (Dodo) in one of the world’s most technologically forward and cryptocurrency savvy countries (South Korea), issues like no working product, opaque private sale process, and potential inflation stop this ICO from being great. As a result, Carry receives a 6/10.

Investment Details

  • Type: Utility
  • Symbol: CRE
  • Platform: Unspecified (roadmap says they will choose a base protocol in Q3 2018)
  • Crowdsale: TBA
  • Minimum Investment: Unspecified
  • Price: 1 ETH = 65,000 CRE (public sale)
  • Hard Cap: 47,000 ETH
  • Payments Accepted: ETH
  • Restricted from Participating: United States, China, Canada

For More Information

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.