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ICO Analysis: Gladius.IO

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Gladius.IO is offering a decentralized solution to help protect people from DDoS attacks and accelerate websites. 

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Gladius.io is essentially an automated marketplace where users can rent out their spare bandwidth and storage to earn Gladius tokens (GLA), while also purchasing DDoS protection and content delivery services.

A DDoS (distributed denial-of-service attack) is basically an overwhelming flood of traffic on a website that originates from different sources, making it nearly impossible to stop block a single source to stop the attack. For any website owner, this is an absolute nightmare. It’s essentially the same thing has having a gang of people clogging up the front door to your store and not letting any legitimate customers walk through.

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As a recent example, Bitcoin Gold, the latest fork in the Bitcoin network, experienced a major DDoS attack after launching its token.

In 2016, DDoS attacks cost companies around $150 billion, and corporations spend an average of over $5,000 a month on DDoS protection even though they never get attacked. Not only do DDoS attacks cost companies a lot when they happen, they also cost a significant amount just for protection.

DDoS attacks have already cost big names like the BBC, Blizzard Entertainment, and GitHub millions of dollars, with the average DDoS attack costing around $2.5 million dollars. Thanks to the October 21st, 2016 attack on a company that is responsible for a huge part of the Internet’s DNS infrastructure called DYN, sites such Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, and CNN were all shut down for an entire day. This single attack cost well over a billion dollars in damage and missed revenue

Over 1.2 Tb/s of malicious connections brought down this cornerstone of the internet. Sites including Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, CNN were all completely shut down for an entire day.

Additionally, if an unprotected company experiences a DDoS attack, the damage can cost the site owners days, weeks, or even months to try to reverse the damage.

That’s where Gladius wants to make an impact. Gladius aims to use the excess bandwidth and computing power (most of which goes unused) to create inexpensive pools of protection that are tailored to each client’s specific needs.

So, not only will companies be protected from DDoS attacks at a fraction of the cost, they would also be able to accelerate their content as well. Faster on-site content leads to higher user satisfaction and conversion rates.

 

Tokens (GLA) and Distribution

A maximum supply of  96,320,000 GLA ever be created, with the fixed supply being issued during the Token Creation. Upon issuance, the tokens will be immediately available to be used on the Gladius network prior to the public sale.

Max Sale Issuance: 68,000,000 GLA
Max Token Issuance: 96,320,000 GLA
Max Token Market Cap: $25,000,000
Max Market Cap: $41,000,000

 

Gladius will accept ETH for GLA.

Public Sale max: $12.5 million

Public Sale min: $2 million

Token Sale Max Coin Distribution: 68 million GLA

Funding Goals:

$4 million – Basic DDoS, CDN, and Load Balancing

$8 million – CDN File Upload

$12 million – 5 Layer DDoS Protection

$16 million – CDN Static Content Caching

$18 million – CDN Dynamic Content Caching

$20 million – Gladius App Store

$22 million – Layer 7 DDoS Protection

$24 million – Advanced CDN optimizations

$25 million – Advanced DDoS optimizations

The distribution of these tokens are as follows:

  • Core Development | 40%
  • Security | 20%
  • Operations | 20%
  • Legal | 10%
  • Marketing | 10%

Out of the tokens,

  1. 10% of all GLA will go to the core founders.
  2. 15% will go the advisory, community, and marketing teams.
  3. 15% will go to operational costs, which includes bounty programs, day-to-day costs, etc.

The coins for the founding team will be locked for 18 months.

The Gladius whitepaper states that the majority of the fees go towards the person renting out their spare bandwidth and storage space (node owner), with a small percentage that goes towards support and protocol development. The fees are going to be denominated in GLA.

The Team

Interestingly enough, the Gladius Team started early in 2017 as a student team at the University of Maryland College Park. Gladius team members have significant experience in computer science, blockchain, and cybersecurity, making them ideally suited for this sort of venture. The team includes Max Niebylski, Alexander Godwin, Marcelo McAndrew and a handful of other members with experience in marketing, PR, and other cryptocurrencies.

Verdict

As the following discussion illustrates, the author is bullish on Gladius. The ICO is perfectly timed, given widespread concern over cyber security.

Risks

  1. One can’t help but notice the youth of the founding team. I actually think having young team can be incredibly beneficial in terms of malleability and adaptability, and the team does have some experienced people on board, but the risks of inexperience associated are worth noting. -2

Growth Potential

  1. The world has become more and more connected to the Internet, and hackers using DDoS attacks have no shortage of targets. +2
  2. This increased threat requires new solutions, and Gladius will be one of the most affordable. Most DDoS protection solutions tend to be very expensive, and offer varying degrees of success. +1
  3. Technology trends such as the Internet of Things broaden the number of targets for DDoS attacks, and the market seems to be consistently growing. +1
  4. There are huge government applications. Many people believe that if another global war should occur, cyber security will likely be at the heart of it. Having a solution that offers complete protection is something that would provide countries such as the United States a bolstered layer of security. +2
  5. Content delivery is a major factor in how consumers view websites. Today’s consumers expect instant gratification, and sites that aren’t to deliver what the consumer wants in a matter of 2-3 seconds could end up losing heaps of traffic. Gladius conveniently provides this solution in addition to its DDoS protection. +1
  6. It’s ridiculously easy to launch a DDoS attack. A mere payment of $5 can get anyone access to a botnet and start doing damage. For $400, you can essentially launch an attack on any site. There is no shortage of attackers, but there are limits to what the current protection services can do (or what the average company can afford). +1

Disposition

We arrive at a +6 out of 10 for the Gladius ICO. I like how the tokens have an immediate application. As someone who runs multiple websites (thankfully no DDoS attacks yet), I could actually see myself as someone on the immediate consumer side for the DDoS protection, as well as content delivery, as well as the content delivery speed. I also think the team has the skillset and marketing experience to execute this project.

Investment Details

The Gladius ICO starts on November 1st, and can be found here.

If you are thinking about investing in Gladius, I advise you to do your due diligence and read through their whitepaper here.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 10 rated postsAlex Moskov is a writer and entrepreneur with a passion for building and creating awesome things. Alex has experience in music tech startups, digital marketing, and cryptocurrency investing.




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ICO

ICO Analysis: Friendz

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Friendz connects brands with their community of users to promote “word of mouth” marketing. Unlike a majority of ICOs, the company has already been in business since 2016. They’re using the ICO as an opportunity to incorporate blockchain technology into their platform to automate picture validation and reward distribution (more on this later).

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The team wants Friendz Coins (FDZ), the platform’s native token, to be the currency of choice for companies to use in engagement with their target audience. The main idea is to reward content creators for promoting brands that they love and are engaged with.

The Friendz platform includes three types of actors: brand clients, users, and approvers.

Brand Clients

Brand Clients, like Nestle and Uber, create and purchase campaigns on the platform. They set the budget range, target users, and social network distribution, among other important criteria. These campaigns are then presented to the Friendz users who can choose to participate for FDZ rewards.

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Friendz makes it easy for brand clients to track key performance indicators (KPIs) of their campaigns in real-time through their specific dashboard.

Users

As a user, you participate in Friendz by creating content for the brand clients.

From the mobile app, you scroll through a list of campaigns and choose one that you like. You then snap a picture following the campaign’s guidelines, add a hashtag or two, and upload it. Each one of your pictures is rated from 1-5 stars by community members based on its quality.

Taking high-quality photos has a few advantages. The higher the rating your photo receives, the greater your FDZ reward. Consistently taking highly-rated photographs also brings you better campaign opportunities and priority access to campaigns over users with a lower rating. The amount of your photos’ reach and overall interaction is also used to determine your rating as a user.

Approvers

Approvers are highly qualified users that screen each photo to ensure that they follow the guidelines of the campaign. Once a minimum number of approvers accepts the photo, it’s automatically posted to the user’s social media accounts.

Any User can become an approver after participating in a certain number of campaigns with a high approval rating. Like normal users, approvers also have rankings but are instead determined by the accuracy of their approvals. This is similar to the reputation system that Augur uses. If their approval rating drops below a certain threshold, they’ll no longer be an approver.   

Approvers receive FDZ rewards for accurately approving user photos. Although this process is currently running on the Friendz platform, the team will be integrating it with the blockchain to make it more accurate and efficient.

Token

FDZ is an ERC20 token and the primary currency on the Friendz platform. The team will create a maximum of 1.5 billion FDZ tokens during the ICO with no additional creations after it’s over.

You can use the token for a multitude of things in-app including:

  • Service and campaign discounts
  • Visibility and exposure promotions
  • Blockchain-based games
  • Merchandise store
  • Coupons and gift cards
  • Brand partnership purchases

Friendz is allocating 15%-30% of their revenue to buy back tokens from the market in order to transfer them to users. This adds a consistent demand to the market and demonstrates that the company believes in the value of the token.

Team

Friendz began in 2016 and has grown their team to over 30 members. Showing some success already, the company has previously raised €500 thousand and made over €1.2 million in revenue.

Alessandro Cadoni, Cecilia Nostro, and Daniele Scaglia lead the team as co-founders.  Although they don’t have much blockchain experience, they have solid advisors to help. The Friendz advisor board is also involved with other notable blockchain projects like Eidoo and Gnosis.

The company has worked with over 200 clients – Disney, Reebok, Mattel, Warner Bros, and Best Western, to name a few.

Tokens and Distribution

The FDZ token sale starts on March 1st at 10 AM (UTC+1) and will proceed for 3 weeks or until the 750,000,000 FDZ ($50,250,000) hard cap is reached.

The ICO also has a minimum goal of 50,000,000 FDZ ($3,350,000). If the team doesn’t raise this amount in 3 weeks, they’ll refund all ICO contributors.

You can purchase 10 FDZ for $0.67 during the ICO. But, if you participate early, you’ll receive a discount based on a sliding scale:

  • First Hour: 40% discount
  • First Day: 20% discount
  • First Week: 10% discount

50% of the total token supply will be distributed to ICO participants while the team only receives 5%. However, there’s a 20% reserve fund that’s slotted for “future financing and team reward. So, the team may end up with more than the original 5%.

The tokens sold during the First Hour as well as the ones allocated to the team, advisors, and reserve fund vest over a twelve-month period. Each month, 1/12 of those tokens will be released to the appropriate people.

One-year is a fairly short vesting period; however, because the company has been operating for a couple years now, this shouldn’t be a huge concern.

The team plans on using the proceeds from the ICO as follows:

  • 50.0% – Business marketing and development
  • 20.0% – Personnel and professionals
  • 15.0% – Development
  • 10.0% – General and administrative expenses
  • 5.0% – Other

With an already established product and user base, it makes sense that the team will spend the majority of funds on marketing and business development.

Verdict

Friendz is an established marketing and advertising company with a proven track record. Similar to Rentberry, the team is just incorporating blockchain technology into their platform – not starting from scratch.

It’s impressive that the company has already passed its breakeven point and is profitably running. This should give you confidence that the social, “word-of-mouth” model that the FDZ token is built on is a solid foundation.

Even though the team isn’t comprised of blockchain experts, they’ve brought on some advisors with significant experience in the space.

Risks

  • Crowded market. There are a host of companies, both traditional and blockchain-related, in the digital marketing industry. It may be tough for Friendz to continue growing at their current pace in such a saturated space. (-2)
  • Nothing revolutionary. There’s no “wow” factor to what Friendz is doing. With ICOs having such a high inherent risk, it may make more sense to look at something tackling a bigger problem. (-2)
  • The mercy of third-parties. Facebook’s recent advertising guideline changes and the ever-evolving digital media landscape could hinder Friendz in the long run. (-1)

Growth Potential

  • Proven idea. Most importantly, Friendz is already successful. Investing in a company that’s already profitable eliminates a lot of risk. (+6)
  • Virality. The platform is built around social sharing and virality. As more people use the app and share content, the company should ideally see exponential growth. (+4)
  • Token terms. The small percentage of tokens allocated to the team and buy-back program give me less suspicion that there’s any funny business going on. (+2)

Disposition

Friendz receives a total score of +7 out of 10. The team, product, and token are solid and look to have minimal downside risk compared to other ICO investments. The company isn’t trying to drastically change the world through a decentralized internet or financial institution overthrow. Instead, they’re tackling a fairly large industry that probably won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Although this probably won’t be a home-run 50x return, it could easily by a solid single or double.

Investment Details

  • Type: Utility
  • Symbol: FDZ
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Crowdsale: Mar. 1, 2018
  • Minimum Investment: 0.1 ETH
  • Price: 1 FDX = 0.067 U.S.
  • Hard Cap: 750 million FDZ
  • Payments Accepted: ETH
  • Restrictions Barred from Participating: United States

The Friendz token sale starts on March 1st, 2018 and runs for three weeks. You can find more information about it here.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 10 rated postsAlex Moskov is a writer and entrepreneur with a passion for building and creating awesome things. Alex has experience in music tech startups, digital marketing, and cryptocurrency investing.




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ICO

ICO Analysis: Skraps

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Spare change

A growing number of statistics is showing that very few people save anything at all for their retirement. In a study conducted by Bankrate, it was discovered that from the age of 30, less than half of all Americans save more than 5% of their annual salary. What’s more, 20% of Americans in the same age group admitted that they don’t have savings whatsoever.

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One possible explanation for this could be that many people don’t feel they have the money or the knowledge to save and make investments.

One solution to this problem is micro-investing – a way of investing that allows people to invest only what they can afford, which is, in many cases unfortunately, quite small amounts.

There are a few mobile apps currently on the market that aims to fulfill this purpose. One of the most popular at the moment is Acorns – an app that automatically invests the user’s spare change from card purchases into stocks and bonds. Acorns has successfully attracted nearly $100 million in investments from leading venture capital firms.

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Designed in the same vein, Skraps is an upcoming micro-investing app that will invest a user’s spare change not in stocks, but in cryptocurrencies. By only investing spare change from purchases of everyday goods and services, a service like this may appeal to those who want to get into cryptocurrencies but lack any investment capital to start out with.

Although still not without risk, the concept appears sound and it has been proven popular with the Acorns app. With that said, the actual results will depend on the team’s ability to carry out the project, bring the app to the market, and attract users.

Token

The native token of the platform is SKRP, an ERC-20 token that is intended to serve as the currency within the app. It will be used to pay for user fees, as well as to pay those who earn commission from publicly sharing their well-performing portfolios, known as copy-investing.

The user fee as outlined in the white paper is 5% of the user’s profits per month. Likewise, if the user makes a loss one month, the fee for that month is waived.

Team

Unfortunately, the team behind Skraps appear to have limited experience, particularly when it comes to blockchain technology. The two co-founders have no blockchain experience as far as we can see, and also have very little relevant experience outside of the blockchain field.

In addition to the founder, the team consists of a few largely unknown advisors and blockchain experts, some of whom have been involved in the blockchain space since 2016.

The website offers no further information into the experience of the team members other than a link to each respective team members’ LinkedIn profile.

However, considering the large amount of low-quality ICO’s coming out these days, the team still deserves credit for making their LinkedIn profiles available on the website for public scrutiny.

Verdict

As a micro-investing platform, Skraps could be well-suited for those new to investing, and those who have limited funds available. The method of investing spare change by rounding up card purchases is a viable one, and the concept has been proven by other successful players.

The platform provides a solution to anyone who lacks the discipline to put aside funds to invest on their own, and who wants to get invested in cryptocurrencies. The fact the the entire investment process is automated also means the product could be a good fit for those who don’t have the knowledge or the time to invest on their own.

One of the main drawbacks of the Skraps app, and thus this ICO, is the team’s lack of experience. The team appears to be young and largely inexperienced, and completely unknown in the industry. They are also lacking any high-profile advisors to help bring publicity and legitimacy to the ICO.

Risks

  • Although cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related experience is difficult to quantify with the field being as new as it is, the founders are young, and experience is certainly called into question. The rest of the team also appears to lack any relevant experience to pull off a project of this magnitude. -4
  • Skraps is not a new concept, with Acorns and similar applications already having shown great success. We don’t know if the Skraps team is planning to use their competitors’ accomplishments as a launch-pad, or whether the new company will struggle to establish itself in the field of micro-investing. -1
  • During the token sale, Skraps management changed the structure of the token pricing model, which can be viewed as a lack of foresight and an inability to plan effectively. -1

Growth Potential

  • According to a statement from the team on Medium, they hit their soft cap of $1 million within the first 10 hours of the token sale, which is respectable in the current ICO environment. +3
  • Cryptocurrency is an industry less than a decade old, which has shown considerable growth in the latter half of its existence. With new and seasoned investors alike considering cryptocurrencies an attractive investment, Skraps could be offering the right service at the right time. +1
  • The concept has been proven to work in traditional financial markets by global players like Acorns attracting large venture capital investments. +2
  • The portfolio-based approach within the app has a two-fold benefit. In addition to allowing users to select their own level of risk, seasoned traders can make their portfolio available for others to copy and earn commission from their followers. +2
  • The Skraps team is highly responsive on Telegram for any questions from the community. Again, with many low-quality ICOs coming out these days, that’s a step in the right direction. +2

Disposition

From an overall perspective, Skraps appears to have a solid concept, but a team that is lacking in experience. We’ve arrived at an overall score of 4 out of 10 for Skraps.

Investment Details

  • Token Type: Utility
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Symbol: SKRP
  • Pre-sale: Ended
  • Token Sale: Jan. 15 – Mar. 18, 2018
  • Token Supply:  110 million
  • Tokens Available for Sale: 66 million
  • Hard Cap: $21,450,000
  • Price: 1 SKRP = $0.30 – $0.45
  • Payments Accepted: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ether
  • Jurisdictions Barred from Participating: None mentioned.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term trading. The author has no investment in Skraps.

Featured image from Pixabay.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.1 stars on average, based on 19 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He mainly follows the stock and forex markets, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.




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ICO

ICO Review: VALID

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VALID is a two-part blockchain ecosystem for you to use to manage and authenticate your digital and potentially sell your personal data. The project is part of Procivis, a digital identity platform that’s been working with governments to create eIDs for their citizens.

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VALID Wallet

According to the whitepaper, the VALID wallet is a mobile platform for you to use to manage your digital identity. The data associated with your identity is 100% in your control. No one can access it without your explicit permission. Even the VALID team is unable to access your most sensitive data as it’s stored locally on your mobile device and protected through multiple factors of authentication.

Through the wallet, you also set which data is sent to and available on the VALID Marketplace. This personal information can range from simple data like your height to more information that’s generally more private such as financials and medical records.

VALID Marketplace

The VALID Marketplace utilizes smart contracts to organize the sales of personal data to digital marketers. Rest assured, though, these purchasers receive the data without any identifying information tied to it leaving you anonymous. In return, you receive VALID tokens as payment.

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VALID Foundation

VALID is a peer-to-peer, non-profit platform, so the team isn’t charging fees to access the platform. Additionally, the team is distributing any revenue from blockchain transaction fees back to the users in the form of VALID tokens.

Token

VALID tokens (VLDs) are the currency of the VALID Marketplace. VLDs are currently ERC20 tokens, but the team is blockchain agnostic and will switch if a better solution surfaces.

Team

Daniel Gasteiger and Yves-Alain Petitjean are the CEO and CFO of Procivis, therefore, they hold the same roles at VALID. Gasteiger is a co-founder of nexussquared, Switzerland’s first dedicated blockchain business and startup platform as well as a member of the Global Blockchain Business Council board of directors. Petitjean has numerous years of financial experience at reputable institutions such as UBS and Banco Santander.

The team has an extensive advisory board with members holding impressive positions including:

  • Lucas Betschart, President of Bitcoin Association Switzerland
  • Thomas Bocek, Head of P2P and Distributed Computing at UZH
  • Eva Kaili, Member of European Parliament
  • Monique Morrow, Co-founder of Humanized Internet and former Cisco CTO
  • Whatever gaps the management team may have, the advisors more than makeup for them.

The team has been working with several Swiss government entities on Procivis’s eID+ platform, and it can be expected that they’ll utilize these relationships for VALID as well.

Tokens and Distribution

The VALID ICO pre-sale already occurred and sold out within 24 hours raising $7 million. The crowdsale begins on February 24th lasting either 3 weeks or until contributions reach the $25 million hard cap.

During the crowdsale, you’ll be able to purchase 1 VLD for $0.065 USD payable in either Ethereum, Bitcoin, or USD (via credit card). The team is selling the first 20 million VLDs at a 25% discount. Beyond that, qualified purchasers will get a 20% discount if they purchase their tokens during the first 24 hours of the sale. The following week, the tokens will be sold at a 15% discount, and the week after that, a 10% discount.

The 100 million tokens will be distributed in the following way:

  • 50% – ICO contributors
  • 30% – Growth fund to reward platform early adopters
  • 9% – Employee incentivization
  • 9% – Foundation fund to ensure long-term funding and price stabilization
  • 2% – Compensate advisors and partners

The team will use the proceeds from the token sale primarily for salaries and product development (57%). The remaining funds will be spent on marketing, operational costs, and unforeseen expenses.

Verdict

VALID is a non-profit working to give you control over your digital identity. The platform includes a wallet for you to manage your identity and personal data as well as a marketplace where you can sell your information and activity to digital marketers.

The team is filled with blockchain experts and has already formed partnerships with the Swiss government. Although VALID is yet available, it’s a piece of the already established product, Procivis.

Risks

  • Unclear revenue model. As a non-profit, VALID is not motivated to make a significant amount of money or increase the token value. In fact, part of the token allocations is slotted to keep prices under control. (-4)
  • Empty Github. The Github repository has barely any commits with the last bit of activity almost two weeks ago. The project should have more active development. (-2)
  • No product yet. Any project without a working product and users is inherently risky. (-2)

Growth Potential

  • Strong team. The team is 24 members and advisors strong with expertise in a range of relevant fields. (+5)
  • Sold out pre-sale. Selling out the pre-sale is a solid sign that there are others that stand by the vision of the project and believe in the team. (+4)
  • Government partnerships. If the VALID team can capitalize on their government partnerships and provide digital identity solutions to citizens, the implication could be huge. (+6)

Disposition

VALID receives an average score of 7 out of 10. Even though the idea seems valuable, as a non-profit, it doesn’t look as if the team is motivated to increase the value of the token. The partnerships with the Swiss government entities are important, but the project is first focusing on personal data sales to digital marketers, not government digital identities.

Investment Details

  • Type: Utility
  • Crowdsale: Feb. 24, 2018
  • Symbol: VLD
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Hard Cap: $25 million U.S.
  • Payments Accepted: ETH, BTC, USD
  • Jurisdictions Barred from Participating: United States

The VLD crowdsale begins on February 24th. You can sign up and find more information on it here.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 10 rated postsAlex Moskov is a writer and entrepreneur with a passion for building and creating awesome things. Alex has experience in music tech startups, digital marketing, and cryptocurrency investing.




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