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ICO Analysis: Monaco

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Monaco is a debit card and mobile wallet solution for Bitcoin and Ethereum whose ICO launched Thursday with so-far moderate success. At time of writing, the tokens were being sold at a rate of 150 MCO per ETH, or about 63 cents each. Since we’re late to the party, we’ll limit this analysis to the potential merits of the token itself.

Key Points

  • Monaco will add currencies under the ECR20 standard which have a total market capitalization of more than $500 million.
  • Monaco will streamline the KYC process for users via its mobile application.
  • The MCO token is intended to help fund marketing and distribution of Monaco cards, as well as allow early-bird investors a chance to later achieve appreciable gains. From the whitepaper:
    • “At any time, a holder of MCO can “Redeem and Burn” the MCO for their pro-rata share of each token held by the MCO Asset Contract. The holder will irrevocably destroy the MCO, and in exchange, the MCO Asset Contract will transfer the underlying tokens to the holder.”
  • This means, in practice, that MCO holders would be able to go directly from MCO to cash/goods if there were a price rise or if they wanted to exit due to a price reduction.
  • The first 999 people to sign up for a Monaco Visa card will receive extra benefits, including triple free ATM withdrawals and lifetime fee-free exchanges of tokens to cash.
  • Monaco is far from the only Bitcoin or Ethereum debit/fiat usage card.

Verdict

The last point in the above list is perhaps the most important. The value of Monaco and the MCO token will have a lot to do with market demand for the cards themselves. Since they are competing with many other plays in that space, there should perhaps be legitimate uncertainty. This reality is addressed in their whitepaper, and the reader is free to take it for what it’s worth:

MCO token will have a market value at or above the assets contained in the MCO Asset Contract. If the value goes below, market participants will be incentivized to purchase MCO and burn it; this will then push the value of MCO back up.

In all honesty, this writer sees no good reason to invest in the MCO token aside from the fact that it won’t be readily available in other methods later on (but they could run a second sale at a later time), although people may find the card and application itself useful. Nevertheless, in terms of recovering your value if you do invest, a valid safety rating might ring in at about 5.1. This takes account for the fact that dealing with private enterprise, especially start-ups using nascent technology, the potential for overall failure and collapse is of course very real.

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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5 stars on average, based on 2 rated postsP. H. Madore has covered the cryptocurrency beat over the course of hundreds of articles for Hacked's sister site, CryptoCoinsNews, as well as some of her competitors. He is a major contributing developer to the Woodcoin project, and has made technical contributions on a number of other cryptocurrency projects. In spare time, he recently began a more personalized, weekly newsletter at http://ico.phm.link




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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. majykman

    May 19, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Makes me feel better about missing out. I nearly went for it but the process was too complicated with not accepting transfers from most exchanges.

  2. bubblebit

    May 19, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Your ICO researches are awesome, one of the best features in your site.
    Every time I think about investing in an ICO, I come here to consult your review.
    Thanks for the effort!

  3. cajunofthe9th

    May 27, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Turns out the CEO of Monaco, Kris Marszalek, and 2 of his other senior executives held similar positions in a the company Ensogo. This company was forced to shut it doors middle of last year (2016), and suspended by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). They are being investigated for fraud and there are many looking to collect.

    https://steemit.com/monaco/@montehansen/beware-of-monaco-visa-ico-s-management

  4. thomashall

    June 12, 2017 at 6:20 am

    How does Monaco compare to TokenCard?

  5. samovarul

    August 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Seeing that the MCO is now trading at around 15usd on the exchanges, one would say this was an amazing investment at the time, right? 😀

  6. mnights

    September 7, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    @samovarul, Agreed.However, Now at 10 USD. from high of 25 USD, wondering why the drop? please shed light before I hop in.

  7. fermera_dany

    September 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    I would appreciate a re-evaluation of the Token, a prize analyses or any other sort of structured information / prediction for the Monaco….
    From the author or from the other members 🙂

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ICO

ICO Analysis: Bgogo

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Bgogo is a crypto asset exchange project with the unique feature of having supernodes that decide on which crypto assets get listed. This is opposed to other exchanges where listing decisions are up to the exchange and not the community.

Supernodes on Bgogo are selected on a quarterly basis based on the top 21 holders of BGG tokens (also subject to vetting by the Bgogo team). During their quarterly tenure, supernodes (after the first group of supernodes) cannot touch their BGG stake.

Supernodes get 1 vote that can be used to list 1 digital asset as well as 20% commission per trade for their listing.

The list of current supernodes is impressive and boasts some big names in the blockchain space, including Pantera Capital, ICODrops, DHVC (Danhua Capital), Arrington XRP Capital, Hashed, Signum Capital, and more.

The project also has $10m in investor funding (Pre-A and A round) from VCs, such as Sky9 Capital, Node Capital, Hike Capital, and Goopal Digital.

Token

The BGG token acts as a proof of stake for the platform (e.g. hold enough and become a supernode), and active traders are rewarded in BGG for their activity.

The total supply of BGG is 10 billion with the following token distribution:

  1. 50% mining rewards
  2. 20% founding team
  3. 20% ecosystem development and operation
  4. 10% first supernodes and strategic investors

Users of Bgogo “mine” Bgogo’s token (BBG) whenever they trade on the exchange. Users get BGG equal to 105% of their cumulative trading fees (in effect, negative trading fees) every 30 minutes as a reward. Bgogo platform fees can be viewed here. Mining rewards may be adjusted as the platform grows but according to the Bgogo whitepaper, a minimum trading fee rebate of 100% will be retained.

Bgogo also performs daily buybacks of BGG. Every 24 hours, 100% of the trading fees (BTC, ETH, and fees for other Bgogo-traded assets) collected by Bgogo is used to repurchase BGG. Repurchased tokens are then burned by sending them to a publicly known burn address.

BGG can also be bought and sold.

The total amount of daily mineable tokens is capped and unlocked at the same rate as ecosystem development and operation tokens. Team tokens are vested over 4 years, with 25% of tokens released at the end of each year.

The 10% of BGG that was sold to initial supernodes as well as strategic investors and partners during the private sale was sold for a total of 15,000 ETH (10,500 ETH for supernodes and 4,500 ETH for strategic investors and partners). The private sale price was 1 ETH = 66,666 BGG, and each supernode was allocated 500 ETH or 33,333,000 BGG.

On the first day of the token’s listing, 50% of private sale tokens are initially unlocked to provide baseline liquidity for BGG. The rest is vested over 5 months in 10% installments. In addition, from the first day of BGG listing, token holdings of all supernodes will be made available on the Bgogo site. In other words, top BGG holders and their positions will be made public and changes in supernode positions can be seen in real-time.

The “public sale” for BGG is actually a genesis mining (beginning of mining, or earning, BGG through trading) event.

The event starts 24 hours prior to the beginning of mining being open to the public. The value of BGG will be pegged to ETH at the same price of the private sale. However, given that “miners” receive 105% trading fee rebates in the form of BGG, “public sale” or genesis mining participants are in effect, getting a 5% bonus on top of the private sale price. In other words, public sale participants are getting BGG cheaper than private sale participants, with NO lockup. Though the catch is that the maximum mining allocation is 10 ETH vs. supernodes who were allocated 500 ETH of BGG each.

To get whitelisted for the BGG genesis mining event, users have to take part in the BGG Proof of Care contest and are placed into tiers based on their performance. For full details, see the BGG Genesis Mining Event page.

Team

CEO Maximilian Wang – Wang is a former Facebook software engineer and founded Facebook’s crypto syndicate. Wang also advised popular blockchain project Quarkchain, which had a successful ICO.

CTO Nicolas Chen – Chen worked at Facebook’s US headquarters and was responsible for maintaining network security for Facebook’s greater than 2 billion users across its Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram properties. He also won the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).

COO Oscar Song – Song has experience working at large exchanges, as he was former operations chief at Huobi, one of the world’s biggest digital asset exchanges.

CSO Ciara Sun – Sun worked at Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, provided asset and portfolio management for billion scale hedge funds and private equity funds, and won the 2018 Blockchain Consensys without Borders Summit Project.

Other core team members have backgrounds working around the world in locations like Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, and Singapore for renowned companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Alibaba, Twitter, and more.

Verdict

Below is a breakdown of the risks and growth potential of Bgogo.

Risks

  • Private sale vesting could be done over a longer period (-0.5)
  • Public sale (genesis mining) allocations could be bigger (-0.5)

Growth Potential

  • Impressive team (+3)
  • Impressive list of supernodes shows big players’ belief in and support for the project (+2)
  • Lots of hype, e.g. large Telegram (+2)
  • Great idea for traders (+1)

Disposition

Though private sale vesting is over a somewhat short period and public sale allocations pale in comparison to private ones, the team, list of supernodes, hype, and idea make Bgogo an extremely attractive project. Who knows – maybe getting some BGG early could be like getting some Binance tokens (BNB) before Binance took off. Bgogo receives a 7/10.

Investment Details

  • Type: Unspecified – Utility
  • Symbol: BGG
  • Platform: Unspecified
  • Crowdsale: TBA
  • Minimum Investment: Unspecified
  • Price: 1 ETH = 66,666 BGG (private sale), 1 ETH = 69,999.3 BGG (public sale aka genesis mining event)
  • Hard Cap: 15,000 ETH (~$6.3m)
  • Payments Accepted: Unspecified
  • 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 Analysis: Solana

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Scalability, scalability, scalability.

Scaling blockchain for the next level of (mass) adoption is the name of the game these days.

Solana is yet another contender to jump into the fray to become the most scalable blockchain and boasts the capability to handle 710,000 transactions per second with normal, off-the-shelf hardware and no features like sharding (a popular scaling proposal which proposes splitting a blockchain into shards or pieces that can process transactions simultaneously instead of having one, overloaded blockchain).

Here’s how.

Proof of History

The staple of Solana that will allow for unparalleled speed is Proof of History. Proof of History timestamps transactions in the blockchain so that nodes can verify the time and order of transactions without witnessing them firsthand.

This has the end result of optimizing Solana’s processes drastically by greatly reducing messaging between nodes and making the processing of transactions separate from consensus.

Here are some other features of Solana:

Sub-Second Confirmations

Older projects like Bitcoin not only have lower transaction rates but also have slow finality or confirmation of transactions as transactions have to be confirmed multiple times before becoming finalized.

Similar to project Perlin, Solana uses the Avalanche consensus protocol, which will allow for transactions to be fully confirmed within seconds, if not less. No more waiting minutes, hours, or days to pay for that coffee using crypto.

Proof of Replication

As of writing, the Bitcoin blockchain is nearly 180 gigabytes. Not everyone has that amount of storage capacity. Solana’s solution for ledger storage is Proof of Replication, which makes it so that not every node has to storage a full copy of the blockchain. Instead, each bit of Solana’s data is replicated to a dedicated storage node.

This means that the network can prove that a node you don’t trust is using its resources to store part of the Solana ledger. The end result is that the network is like a torrent, with no one node holding a full copy of the ledger yet a copy of the ledger is always available.

Broad Smart Contract Language Support

Instead of limiting developers to a single smart contract language, Solana will support any language supported by LLVM, starting with Javascript and Solidity.

Usage by the Next Generation of DApps

Thanks to Solana’s high transaction throughput, Solana could become the platform for the next generation of DApps that process tons of transactions like decentralized exchanges, payment platforms, decentralized cloud storage and web services, decentralized ad exchanges, and prediction markets.

Token

Details on Solana’s token and its token sale are sparse.

For the token itself, since Solana is aiming to be a platform like Ethereum or EOS, it’s assumed that Solana’s token usage will be similar to that of the aforementioned projects.

As for the token sale, interested investors can submit their interest in contributing via Solana’s presale interest form.

Team

CEO Anatoly Yakovenko – Yakovenko created Solana and has deep tech experience, having led operating system development at Qualcomm, compression at Dropbox, and distributed systems at Mesophere. Other achievements include being a core kernel developer for BREW (powered every CDMA flip phone – 100m+ devices), holding 2 patents for high performance operating systems, and leading development that made Protect Tango (VR/AR) possible on Qualcomm phones.

CTO Greg Fitzgerald – Fitzgerald is Solana’s principal architect and also worked at Qualcomm at the Office of the Chief Scientist.

Head of Growth Hsin-Ju Chuang – Chuang leads Solana’s community and growth efforts. Her track record is pretty solid, having been the former Head of Growth at Stellar, a top blockchain project.

Partnerships, Biz Dev Alan Yu – Yu is in charge of Solana’s business relationships and comes from Google, where he spent 10 years in sales and marketing and won various awards for his performance.

Partners

Solana’s partners include the following:

  • globaliD – globaliD is an identity provider, which has venture support from the likes of 500 Startups.
  • Hard Yaka – Hard Yaka is an investment fund with investments in companies like Coinbase, Ripple, Filecoin, ShapeShift, AngelList, twilio and exits from companies like Square (IPO), Twitter (IPO), Authy (twilio acquisition), and more.
  • Helium is the world’s first decentralized, blockchain-powered machine network with investment from the likes of GV (Google Ventures) and Marc Benioff, founder, chairman, and CEO of Salesforce.

Verdict

Below is a breakdown of the risks and growth potential of Solana.

Risks

  • Bold claims re: scalability and throughput. The team has claimed to have achieved hundreds of thousands of transactions per second on their testnet but the testnet isn’t public (-1)
  • Details on token and token sale not released yet (-0.5)

Growth Potential

  • Strong team and partnerships (+3)
  • Github work impressive (+2)
  • Solid hype and social presence (+2)

Disposition

  • Solana is a project with a lot of potential. Though tons of blockchain projects claim that they’re going to fix blockchain’s scalability woes, Solana might just have the actual team and partners to make that vision a reality. For now, we recommend keeping an eye out for further developments.
  • Solana receives a 5.5/10

Investment Details

  • Type: Unspecified – presumably utility
  • Symbol: Unspecified
  • Platform: Unspecified – presumably Native
  • Crowdsale: TBA
  • Minimum Investment: Unspecified
  • Price: Unspecified
  • Hard Cap: Unspecified
  • Payments Accepted: Unspecified
  • 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: BitSong

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The music industry is ever-evolving alongside new technologies. Smart contracts and blockchain are currently changing it again. Over the past year, numerous music blockchain projects have come onto the scene as ambitious entrepreneurs try to get in on the action.

BitSong, is an Ethereum based project that wants to put the entire process on one platform. Music creators will stream their songs or videos, manage their fanbase and work out advertising deals all on the BitSong Platform.

According to the whitepaper:

“The BitSong Platform will be a holistic one -stop shop approach, choice is given to the user, to watch videos, stream music and have the ability to use whichever device they own to partake in Bitsong. This also permits the artist to manage their social media fanbase from one source, their Bitsong channel, thereby retaining their fans on one single decentralized music platform”

The platform allows users to do the following;

  • Upload new songs/videos and create your own music channel.
  • Sell your songs, listen to them and get donations.
  • Earn BTSG token during your plays.
  • Support the artist by making a donation through the BTSG token.
  • Listen to your songs on any TV, Smartphone or PC.
  • Sponsor your business or your songs in full autonomy.

Perhaps the coolest feature of BitSong will be how they incorporate advertisements into the platform. The user will be paid for their “User Attention,” the producer will receive earnings in real time and the advertiser will be able to optimize the campaign after viewing the reports.

Token

The BTSG token will be essential for: sponsorship, making a donation, purchasing a song, voting, buying tickets and purchasing merchandising.

Use of funds:

  • 50% Business Development and Expansion
  • 15% Technology and Logistics
  • 15% Research and Development
  • 20% Marketing and PR

Two percent the tokens were sold at a 40% discount during the pre-sale in late May.

Team

This is a rather large and spread out team. Lots of different countries involved and most of the team are former DJs/producers.

Angelo Recca: Co-Founder/CEO from Italy. LinkedIn says he has been CEO of this cloud storage company SpazioRC since 2012. Spazio has only one employee listed on LinkedIn and the twitter only has 340 followers and hasn’t been active since Novemebr 2017.

Rino Ticli: Co-Founder. The only work history listed is “DeeJay” since 2002. He doesn’t seem to be a very popular DJ/producer, either. He’s had Twitter since 2012 yet only has 800 followers that give him zero love or retweets.

Julian Anghelin: EMEA Manager. Despite typing a long and vague description of his skills, the only work history he has listed is as a publications guy for Royal Caribbean Cruises for ten months in 2016.

Giovanni Melfi: CTO and Blockchain Developer. Out of the 12 team members, he is the only developer. And it looks like he has no work history to brag about. He did describe himself on LinkedIn as follows:” Passionate about cryptocurrencies and blockchain, 2 languages speaker. Coming from an experience in software engineering and a passion for software development with some programming languages such as PHP. I participated in some group work on the robotic system, on linux programming and on StartUp Manager, and I think these experiences are the most important for professional growth.”

The website goes on to list 19 international DJs/producers that are supposed to be a part of BitSong. However, after checking all of them, only a couple ever mention BitSong. No mentions of the token sale.

The most popular is a guy named Tadeo, who gained almost 300,000 Twitter followers for being on an MTV reality show. He does not mention the BitSong crowdsale on his twitter.

Nicola Fasano is a DJ with 16,000 followers on Twitter.

Mossel is a DJ with 10,000 followers but doesn’t mention Bitsong ICO

Verdict

We usually don’t do analysis on projects that already had their pre-sale. However, after seeing these ratings, it seemed like our opinion was needed. These high scores are out of line. The only explanation is that the reviews were done a few months ago, before the bad news bears arrived to spoil everyone’s shill fest.

Nobody here expects YouTube, Spotify and record companies to just step aside while smart contract/blockchain projects move in. Said blockchain projects needs to be extra special with an extra special team in order to even stand a chance of competing.

Based on team inexperience and lack of MVP alone, this gets an unfavorable rating.

Risks

  • The team is not experienced at all in business or blockchain. -1
  • It doesn’t look like they will come close at all to reaching the hard cap. They have a large team and payroll. It’s going to take a long time for both BitSong and Ethereum to work properly. There’s a strong chance they run out of money by then -1
  • No MVP, only one blockchain developer listed on their team, plus many other small things that lead us to believe they might not be really trying to build this thing. -1
  • GitHub is not active at all. This supports the above theory. -1
  • Competition. The author has reviewed 4 different blockchain music ICOsin the last year. He ranks this one 3/4. -1

Growth Potential

  • Ambitious roadmap on page 15 of the whitepaper. +1
  • One of these blockchain music projects is going to be popular. BitSong has an outsiders chance. +1
  • The crowdsale will run for three months, ending in November. Perhaps the market will be bullish by then. +2
  • They make a really bold claim on their site about having 177,404 users. When asked who these users are, the reply was, “177,404 users interacted with our bot and registered in our wallet.” This is kinda hard to believe, but if true those type numbers will definitely help them scale. +3

“Together with our community (about 180,000 users) we want to create a special environment, a new way to hear, see and enjoy music,where every artist can be his own distributor, sponsoring it on world music channels, where clarity and transparency rule and users can be rewarded for listening and viewing advertising.”

Disposition

It’s just way too good to be true. The silver lining is that we’ve seen several projects succeed in the past with this same strategy. A brilliant whitepaper idea with no MVP, and an untested team. However, in today’s paranoid market, most investors are now needing evidence of work, not just a whitepaper and a dream. +2/10

Investment Details

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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4.1 stars on average, based on 23 rated postsJoshua Larson is also known as the "Bullshit Man" for his ability to spot it a mile away. Avid ICO researcher and contributor. Former professional poker player/backer. Spent 10 years analyzing hand history, stats, and player data. Discovered blockchain in late 2016, and never looked back. He now uses his analysis skills to investigate ICOs full time. What a perfect match, because in today's crazy world of ICOs, information, passion, and diligence = dollar bills!




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