ICO Analysis: High Performance Blockchain (HPB)
The author does not speak Chinese, so the following analysis is lacking a lot of good information the author would like to have. For instance, at the outset, we are unsure as to whether the ICO has already finished or will finish tomorrow, August 15th. We know they originally wanted their second round to begin on July 5th but then later posted a notice to their page:
We were not tipped off about the ICO until the end of last week, via Twitter. From there, we’ve had little luck finding out much more information besides the one English language whitepaper. There may still be an opportunity here, so we will look over it. After all, people who apparently do speak Chinese have contributed over $1.7 million in Ethereum so far.
As such, we will try to avoid being providing an authoritative analysis here, and instead provide the information we were able to acquire and then a numerical rating based on that. This is not a typical analysis for us because this is not a typical ICO for us.
Built on NEO
NEO, formerly Antshares, can be best described as the Chinese answer to both Bitcoin and Ethereum. While there are plenty of Satoshi-based coins that take on a Chinese-specific tone, none have really made waves in the same way that NEO has over the past several months, since its rebranding. News such as the Chinese government collecting taxes via the blockchain  seems to translate to price rises for the platform. Here’s a peek at recent activity for NEO:
The High Performance Blockchain (HPB) uses NEO in the same way that Aragon and other ICOs we have seen on Ethereum use Ethereum: for its blockchain and token issuance. Beyond that, it is its own software.
Problem HPB Is Solving?
The High Performance Blockchain seeks to make blockchain integration for real-world businesses easier through the introduction of an application programming interface. While this is the idea of NEO at its core, in the same way that Aragon seeks to make Ethereum integration easier, HPB can make NEO integration easier.
This is achieved by creating an architecture similar to an API operating system. The software architecture provides accounts, identity and authorization management, policy management, databases, and asynchronous communication on thousands of CPUs, FPGAs or clustered program schedulers. This blockchain is a new architecture that can support millions of transactions per second andsupport authorizations within seconds.
In doing this, HPB is using the Delegated Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. This is the mechanism used by Bitshares and others which changes the way that rewards are done in a proo of stake system. In a traditional proof of stake system, the more coins one has, the more weight one has, and therefore the higher one’s odds of “minting” new blocks. In a delegated proof of stake system, blocks can be minted regardless of existent weights, reputation systems are used, and a trusted panel of holders must be established. Real-time voting is also used. For an overview, see here.
The HPB team claim to have worked closely with Chinese mega firm UnionPay to design their system, which will have 3 second blocks. Blocks this fast would be nearly impossible in a proof-of-work system. However, a highly-efficient, highly-available blockchain like this will have a great degree of utility as more and more of the world comes online and needs to interact with global finance networks, often enough without local legacy financial partners to work through. Even if it were a strict clone of Aragon with translations and localizations integrated for the Asian markets, HPB would have some value in this respect.
What is unclear is what the HPB token, NEO, and the HPB blockchain will do in concert with each other. We gather that the token itself will be issued on the NEO blockchain. We gather that the HPB token will be used for businesses to interact with the HPB ecosystem, which we understand will be a delegated proof-of-stake system that is independently mined of the NEO shares blockchain. We understand that HPB is designed to specifications provided by UnionPay.
HPB Use Cases
The HPB team imagine their platform making waves in several industries, including:
- Data management
Their medical use case responds directly to a Chinese government report which lists problems and necessary improvements of the Chinese medical system. They believe that through development on top of the HPB they can make these problems a thing of the past. Their primary contribution to this would be through easing data sharing.
A localized platform which makes integrating with Chinese government institutions a breeze would have significant value in the global economy, as more and more entrepreneurs seek to expand beyond international borders.
Token & Investment Information
Regarding the token, we get a few more details in English that are relevant.
The maximum that could have been generated, based on their funding goals, is 28.6M HPB tokens. The lowest cost of these tokens was about .00077 Ether each (or the equivalent in Bitcoin or NEO), but the current cost is .001 Ether each token (if the sale schedule is correct). To get issued the token, it appears you send your Ether to this address. As far as we can tell, you have until August 15th at midnight.
It’s clear to this author that the High Performance Blockchain initiative does not want his western monies. If they did, more information in English would be available. As such, it’s probably unsafe to invest without a reliable translator to get all the requisite details for you. But if we’re going to place bets on the likelihood that this will turn a profit at a rate of .001 Ether per token, we can use our grizzled nose to issue a gut-based rating of 2.7.
Something like this is much too murky to get overly behind. Many of the concepts which are touched upon in the HPB whitepaper are being thoroughly pursued by efforts specifically focused on them. This doesn’t detract from its potential. They’ve raised a large sum already, nearly $2 million. With this kind of runway, they should be able to build something of use, but will it be a big profitable thing which makes the HPB token in high demand? Hard to believe without a lot more information, and such information is hard to come by for a lowly English speaker like this author.
Much like NEO itself, it’s something that could hold serious potential but requires a lot of extra legwork to become educated about. As such, it’s not a beginner-level investment at all. Timing exits, consolidations, et cetera would be much more difficult than with a typical instrument, and the hazard of acting badly but in good faith is very high.