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ICO Analysis: LALA World

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Although greater progress has been made toward expanding financial inclusion, the majority of the world’s population still lacks access to a bank account. According to the World Bank, roughly 51% of the world’s adult population had no bank account in 2014. That’s down significantly from 62% in 2011, but still leaves 2 billion adults with no access to financial products and services.

Unbanked populations represent one of the biggest opportunities for financial institutions. The growth and widespread adoption of mobile devices has opened many doors for financial inclusion. Large swathes of the unbanked and underbanked want to achieve financial inclusion, but only if it makes sense for them. According to Accenture, there are three value propositions these populations need to enter institutional finance:

  • Easy access: alternative distribution methods to physical banking infrastructure will go a long way to attracting the unbanked. That’s where mobile comes in.
  • The right products: Financial products and services must be designed specifically to cater to the needs of emerging markets.
  • Attractive to use: Services must address the dormant tendencies of low-income consumers.

It is against this backdrop that we evaluate LALA World, the blockchain company that seeks to use innovative technology to help unbanked populations achieve financial inclusion. The company has identified this as a $380 billion opportunity by the year 2020, so there’s plenty on the line.

To achieve its goals, LALA is developing an ecosystem centered on the following concepts:

  • No regulation
  • Instant settlement
  • No branches
  • Digital payments
  • Low costs and fees

When we evaluation these markers against the points set out by Accenture, we see a lot of promise. The company’s whitepaper lays out this ecosystem using the following diagram:

When it comes to the unbanked, much of the solution that LALA is offering will be based on the forthcoming wallet service, which includes money transfer, crypto and fiat exchange, bill payment and lending services.

Token

The company is launching an Ethereum-based token that will be the catalyst for the entire LALA ecosystem, which is itself backed by the LALA wallet platform. This single interface aims to connect the unbanked population with several development initiatives that extend far beyond the financial system. This includes employment, digital identification, government partnerships and health.

This concept is further elaborated in the whitepaper:

“LALA World (“LALA”) is a wholesome ecosystem for the unbanked, starting with the migrants and their families back home. The ecosystem not only revolves around financial inclusion, but also bringing together communities at grassroots level, solving real life issues faced by this population and using the most advanced technology to bring everyone together.”

Although the company is leaning heavily on the ERC20 protocol, it is also looking at ERC223 and may one day launch its own blockchain. No definitive steps have been laid out in the whitepaper.

Purchasers of the first 125 million LALA tokens are eligible to receive a loyalty bonus on their initial investment. This bonus is as high as 25% for the first 25 million tokens.

Team

LALA’s team is headed by founder Sankalp Shangari, an ex-banker who has had stops at Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase. He appears to have a solid track record dealing with government, banks and other financial institutions. This sort of preparation is needed for a project of this nature.

Shangari has four other core team members spanning revenue, technical, partnership and AVP technology domains. The advisory team is even bigger, and consists of blockchain experts from around the world. This may offset the lack of demonstrable blockchain experience at the main organizational level.

Verdict

LALA is a highly ambitious project that seeks to go beyond bringing the unbanked online. It aims to revolutionize the way people, businesses and entrepreneurs transact, make payments and borrow money. The ICO has a solid profile, but may run into implementation risks as the size and scope of the project expands.

Risks

  • Naturally, one of the biggest risks for this project is competition from the major financial institutions. Big banks have been eyeing the unbanked for quite some time, and are beginning to mobilize efforts to serve this massive market. This partly explains the huge uptake in bank enrollments in emerging markets in recent years. Investors are reminded that, although the unbanked population is huge, it has declined significantly as a percentage. That being said, big banks may be challenged servicing the poor given the undocumented nature of these populations. Although many banks are making inroads into blockchain, they still lag considerably behind in implementation. -2
  • For a project of this magnitude, implementation is a huge undertaking. LALA is pretty much looking to transform emerging markets with its platform. With a highly ambitious roadmap in place, investors need to consider implementation challenges building a platform that meets its lofty objectives. -2
  • Although the core team is solid, we would have liked to see more blockchain experience at the top. This isn’t a huge risk given the blockchain expertise retained in the advisory role. That being said, this takes away slightly from the overall score. -0.5

Growth Potential

  • The company has a clear roadmap for implementation, including the launch of LALA 1.0 in April 2018. This will form the basis of the token’s mass adoption. The platform will be launched in ten countries initially. +3
  • LALA already boasts strong partnerships with government, industry and community organizations, putting it one step closer to implementing its vision. +3
  • LALA is offering an entire ecosystem of financial products and services. The more we look at it, the more it seems like an identity verification system for people in emerging markets. Each of the seven products outlined in the whitepaper has a clear business model with a definitive revenue stream. In other words, you know exactly how this company intends to generate revenue. +4
  • In addition to early participation incentives, the ICO seeks to add value for long-term investors. Rewards, discounts, referral programs and voting rights are all part of the LALA investment opportunity. +2

Disposition

When it comes to ICOs, LALA World is as solid as they come. A clearly defined business strategy aimed at a good cause should generate plenty of interest once the ICO launches in the new year. The author feels that a score of 7.5 out of 10 is warranted. This figure could easily rise should LALA convince local populations to adopt its services.

To be perfectly frank, there is nothing wrong with the token raise – it merely has a big vision that will take a lot of work to actualize. It also faces stiff competition from traditional finance.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: LALA
  • Token Sale: Jan. 5, 2018 – Feb. 5, 2018
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Total Amount to Sell: 150,000 ETH worth of LALA
  • Payment Types: ETH, BTC, LTC

*12/27/2017: Our review of LALA World has been updated to reflect the advisory team’s blockchain qualifications as well as the challenges traditional financial institutions face servicing the poor. As a result, the original score of 6.5 has been upgraded to 7.5.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 647 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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ICO

ICO Analysis: Brain Space

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As we spend more and more time on the Internet, we become more “digital” and unsurprisingly, our everyday practices keep changing. Yet, change isn’t always so simple, especially when it comes down to intellectual property. Constantly using the Internet and creating new, original content whose rights we are entitled to, creates controversies as the intellectual property market faces several crucial problems such as in the following:

  • It is hard to establish connections between businesses and intellectual property owners.
  • There is no high-quality sustainable system dedicated to intellectual property.

But no more says the Brain Space team whose primary goals are to create an infrastructure to solve problems in the industry and to provide frictionless access for authors to the international stage. The latter is especially crucial for the market and should be underlined because if it is hard, inaccessible and inconvenient for an author to register and record his or her products, a healthy market’s occurrence is hardly conceivable.

Yet this is proven to be hard in the actual intellectual properties market as “a huge increase in capitalization, the issue of infringement of the author’s rights and the misuse of someone else’s intellectual property is acute”. The author has every reason and right to demand that his or her rights are protected and his or her products are used in accordance with legal frameworks. This brings the need for a platform where copyrights, patents or other intellectual properties are registered and protected rightfully.

Creating a safe and fast platform to store all this data is not an easy task obviously, yet Brain Space has proven how serious they are by building their own data center for this purpose to support the network of nodes. It is planned to have a capacity of 5 Petabytes (5,000 Terabytes or 5,000,000 Gigabytes), 3,000 KW of energy and 500 server racks each with a 40 Gbit per second Internet connection.

Token

IMP tokens are used as universal payment tools in the platform. The private-sale price per IMT token is $0.01, the pre-sale price $0.03 and the ICO price is $0.08. As any ICO investors will have to pay eight times of private sale contributors for the same number of tokens, token metrics do not seem favorable for him or her. Any crypto-investor who has taken a likening in the project might be better off if he or she waits until the token hits the market where probably he or she could buy it cheaper than the ICO price.

The initial total supply of IMP is 2,700,000,000 tokens with the following token distribution:

  1. 10% private sale
  2. 26% token sale
  3. 5% bounty, bonus, marketing
  4. 2% further attraction in the project
  5. 17% pre-sale
  6. 15% team
  7. 25% maintaining the platform project

The team is planning to use the token sale proceeds as follows.

  1. 28% data center
  2. 1% ICO expenses
  3. 15% listing, marketing, and business development
  4. 7% team
  5. 2% attraction of users
  6. 2% legal and financial services
  7. 8% expansion, operations
  8. 2% legal status and licenses
  9. 15% backup
  10. 5% technical development
  11. 14% specialists
  12. 1% community events

Team

Ivan Shikhalev: Shikhalev was a software engineer at Tenzor Company.

Denis Dimitriev: Dimitriev has worked as a financial analyst at TeleTrade Russia.

Verdict

Below is a breakdown of the risks and growth potential of Brain Space.

Risks

  • As the ICO price is eight times of the private sale price, any ICO investor will have to pay eight times more than a private sale contributor for the same number of IMP tokens which does not sound like a healthy investment at all. It might be reasonable to wait until the token hits the market and hope it opens at a lower price if you are interested in the project. (-2)

Growth Potential

  • The team is planning to have its own data center, which means that the team is aiming to provide sufficient speed and security for the platform in addition to any other nodes run by others. (+2)
  • Blockchains’ immutable permanent nature is a perfect fit for intellectual property platforms. (+2)

Disposition

The intellectual rights market suffers from several problems such as the absence of a high-quality sustainable platform, the infringement of authors’ rights and the misuse of the authors’ rights as well as products. Blockchain technology, thanks to its immutable, permanent nature, has a high chance to solve this problem and Brain Space is such a platform aiming at these issues. Although one might be worried about the platform’s security, speed, and scalability, the team is planning to build its own high-capacity data center to support network needs. Still, from an ICO investor’s perspective, we cannot say token metrics are favorable as the private sale contributors had the chance to buy IMP tokens with a price of $0.01 while the ICO price is $0.08. As of the time of writing, there are still two months until the ICO, so the ICO investor should strongly weigh the project’s pros and cons before making any investment and likely consider buying tokens after they hit the market. Brain Space receives a 2/10.

Investment Details

  • Type: ERC20 – Utility
  • Symbol: IMP
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Crowdsale: January 14th
  • Minimum Investment: $100
  • Price: $0.08
  • Hard Cap: $73,630,000
  • Payments Accepted: Bitcoin, Ethereum
  • Restricted from Participating: United States, China, and North Korea

For More Information

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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ICO

ICO Analysis: Aqua Intelligence

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The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal has revealed that the world’s biggest social network’s millions of users’ personal data were harvested for political reasons. This was not the first scandal revealing user data misused for a corporation’s or a person’s gains. Big data companies are known to track Internet users’ data as closely as possible in order to sell the data later for monetary gain.

However, the actual owner of the data, the end user, rarely benefits from this data monetization. Aqua Intelligence is a platform enabling its users to monetize their data in the form of tokens. The team aims to collect data from their already existing products and other sources in order to build a profile system at an international scale.

As a high amount of data is expected to flow into the platform, human analysis alone will not be sufficient to process it all. The team is looking to enhance the system with artificial intelligence and machine learning, to further improve sales, retention, conversion and customer satisfaction. If the team is able to meet their goals, Aqua Intelligence has a chance to take a shot at one of the world’s biggest industries.

Initially focusing on the hospitality industry where the team is the most experienced, Aqua Intelligence will create a data solution to help businesses improve their revenues with personalized offerings and improved operational efficiency. In return, the platform users will be rewarded with loyalty benefits in return for validating their personal data.

Aqua Intelligence is designed to have three main components.

  • Aqua Intelligence is the core component where the data is processed.
  • Platform users use Aqua Mobile Application to earn tokens in return for providing and validating data and completing other tasks like surveys and reviews. The application enables them to manage their loyalty points as well.
  • It is all thanks to Aqua Revenue Management System that businesses are able to improve their sales numbers and efficiency. By using this component, they will be able to provide personalized offers and special group sales.

Token

AQX tokens will be used to distribute rewards and loyalty points in the Aqua Intelligence platform. The ICO investor should note that until October 6th a bonus of 100% was offered to investors. As of the time of writing, 50% bonus is available for investors until November 5th. Any person considering to invest in Aqua Intelligence should better hurry and make his or her decision before the sale moves to the next stage where only 20% will be offered.

The initial total supply of AQX is 500,000,000 tokens with the following token distribution:

  1. 5% bounties and airdrops
  2. 20% team
  3. 30% platform reserve
  4. 45% AQUA token sale

The team is planning to use the token sale proceeds as follows.

  1. 10% legal
  2. 10% operational expenses
  3. 20% marketing
  4. 20% research & editorial
  5. 40% platform development

Team

CEO Anthony Gelman: Gelman has worked as a housekeeping training manager at Wynn Las Vegas and as a housekeeping manager at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

COO Leon Pashnick: Pashnick was the assistant manager of housekeeping at Wynn Las Vegas.

Okechi Onyeje: Onyeje is a software engineer at Vistaprint.

Advisors

Rick Hilton: Hilton is the chairman at Hilton & Hyland Real Estate, a real estate company based in Beverly Hills, since 1994.

Chuck Goldman: Goldman, a mentor at MassChallenge, has worked as a senior director at Apple for four years.

Tony Lau: Lau was the vice president of finance at Hughes Network Systems and Lockheed Martin/Astrolink International.

David Norton: Norton is the chairman and chief marketing officer at GALE partners, a marketing and advertising company and a board member at Home Care Assistance. He also has held the chief marketing officer position at Caesars Entertainment Corporation for twelve years and worked as a vice president at Bank of America.

Arthur Iinuma: Iinuma has worked for Citi, Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management.

Verdict

Below is a breakdown of the risks and growth potential of Aqua Intelligence.

Risks

  • The AQX token does not have any staking or profit distribution mechanism and has none to very little use case for people who will not use the token except for speculative trading. (-2)
  • Early stage investors get a 100% bonus which should discourage later investors from investing in the project. (-1)

Growth Potential

  • Great advisors with experience at well-known firms, with some of those being in the hospitality industry (the project’s initial focus). (+3)
  • The team is planning to initially focus on the hospitality market, where they are experienced. (+3)

Disposition

Whether one likes or not, personal data is money in this day and age. Aqua Intelligence gives people a chance to monetize their personal data in return for loyalty points and rewards in different forms. The project is backed by great advisors and the team’s initial focus will be the hospitality market where they have a lot of experience. Aqua Intelligence receives a 3/10.

Investment Details

  • Type: ERC20 – Utility
  • Symbol: AQX
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Crowdsale: Unspecified
  • Minimum Investment: 0.05 ETH
  • Price: $0.18
  • Hard Cap: $30,000,000
  • Payments Accepted: ETH
  • Restricted from Participating: Unspecified

For More Information

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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ICO

ICO Analysis: BX.BET

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BX.BET is offering a decentralized blockchain-based betting exchange and prediction market ecosystem to tackle the fragmented market of betting.

BX aims to utilize the full power of blockchain and smart contracts to give users full control over their funds and betting transactions, with full transparency and total freedom to bet as they please. BX users will be able to take over the role of the bookmaker and create their own markets, and place/offer bets with self-determined odds.

The BX token will be a key component to enable all betting transactions. Users will be able to trade bets in three different markets: sports/esports, prediction markets, and financial markets.

The BX whitepaper also claims the fleshing out of interesting features like Oracles to create predictive markets, which is a pretty cool concept.

Token

A notable component of this pre-sale is the bonus structure, which incentivizes investors who contribute more than $15,000 with a 30% discount.

Team

The BX team carries a cumulative nine decades of experience in the betting industries and seems poised to handle the execution of the project well.

Verdict

Below is a rundown of the risks and opportunities associated with BX token.

Risks

  • Competition: A quick Google search shows 7 projects offering a decentralized betting program, and that’s just the first page. Yes, creating a decentralized betting platform is a good idea, so good an idea that dozens of teams are working hard to execute it. One of the more notable competitors is Augur, hit a market cap of over $1B (currently at ~$140M), made a big splash and is generally assumed to have first mover advantage in the space. However, to look at BX’s competition within the crypto realm is doing it an injustice, especially when you look at how fragmented the betting landscape has been. -3
  • Regulatory risks: A huge reason the products and companies in the betting sector have lagged behind is regulation is incredibly tricky, especially for a project looking to create an international betting platform. The BX team has to deal with dozens and potentially hundreds of different authorities. It’s decentralized in function, yes, but not decentralized enough in company structure to avoid any regulatory upheavals. -2
  • Steep team/advisor token ownership:Only 60% of the tokens will be sold to the public. It’s worth noting that of the token sale, 10% of the tokens go to the team,15% go to a “company reserve”, and 10% go to advisors. So, of the $20m hard cap (if reached), the team gets $2M, $3M goes to the company reserve, and $2M goes to advisors. That’s about  $222,222 average per the 9 team members (locked for 2 years), $666,666 average per the 3 advisors, and $3,000,000 in what I’m assuming is a rainy day fund. This doesn’t necessarily signal foul play, but as an investor, I would be slightly concerned that 35% of all total tokens stay with the company in some capacity, either as compensation or as a reserve. -2

Growth Potential:

  • The current betting landscape is a disorganized mess: If you want to bet on an NFL game, for example, you’d have to either contact a bookie to place the bet for you, or have a custom log-in on whatever site that bookie uses (or just bet someone next to you, but that’s not always convenient). If BX.BET can clean up this fragmented ecosystem and provide users a central place to bet freely without the obstacles, I could see it picking up a ton of users from scattered betting sites. +3
  • Removal of the third party bookmaker intermediary: Value tends to be created for the users of any decentralized platform that removes third party intermediaries, such as bookies. This means better betting terms and odds, leading to higher customer satisfaction. +3
  • Size of the industry: The BX.BET promotional materials place the betting industry at $60 billion and an annual growth rate of 10%. +2
  • Discounts are appealing: The pre-sale hasn’t started yet, but those wishing to invest anywhere between $300 to $15,000 can see between 15% to 30%. +4
  • Capable team:  The BX team consists of a group of people who have deep experience in this industry. In a niche with such a high rate of competition, the team is going to make the difference. +1

Disposition

We arrive at a +6 or BX.BET. The project seems very well put together and the app has a clean interface, but the level of competition, regulatory risks, and team compensation give me hesitations.

Investment Details

  • Symbol: BX
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • ICO Date: Oct. 15, 2018
  • Minimum Investment: $100 USD
  • Token Price: 1 BX = $0.19 usd
  • Payments Accepted: BTC, ETH, fiat
  • Country: Malta

The token sale starts on October 15th. To find more information on the project, check out the BX.BET website and BX.BET whitepaper.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 18 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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