ICO Analysis: Nezly

Nezly is an online marketplace that connects legal Marijuana dispensaries with suppliers and customers built on the Stellar blockchain. Nezly plans to leverage the capabilities of the Stellar blockchain to:

  1. Facilitate payments
  2. Allow for transactional data to be recorded on the blockchain so that a historical snapshot is visibly transparent and immutable.
  3. Create a transparent ecosystem that is more secure and convenient buy having both buyers and sellers information verified in a decentralized fashion.

Despite seemingly being committed to building off of Stellar, the Nezly team bizarrely stated in their whitepaper that, “We are currently looking into new technology provided by IOTA (Internet of Things) that uses a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) or “Tangle” that structures a ledger in a tree formation to allow for faster lookups and better scalability.”

This gives this Analyst the impression that the authors of the whitepaper are merely namedropping Blockchains they deem fashionable in an attempt to look knowledgeable rather than expressing any specific business use case for the technology.

There are four main products that Nezly is developing within their ecosystem

1. CannaX, or what they dub “the wholesale Cannabis exchange.”

They envision this as a place where growers, dispensaries, labs, and transports connect, gain data insight, and perform transactions.

In practice, this would work based on user participation in the platform.

For instance, a dispensary looking to buy product could obtain data on what’s popular, what’s selling, and what isn’t.  Meanwhile, farmers would also know what to grow based on what’s selling to dispensaries.

This would theoretically yield increased efficiency and exponential growth to the industry as a whole.

Another important feature of CannaX is what the whitepaper describes as, “A true seed to sale timeline” documented on the blockchain.

This entails an “easy to use tool” for Farmers to record what growing products are being used, images of all the growing stages throughout a growing cycle, and the ability to upload lab test results of the completed plants.

Dispensary buyers would have access to this data after the purchase of a product. They would then be able to provide their customers with superior information on where the products came from, what methods were used to grow them, and lab testing validating the quality of the products themselves.

The customers would be able to access this information by scanning a QR code.

The whitepaper did not elaborate on how this would work for customers in detail.

CannaX would also provide remittance services. They state that the Nezly token (NEZ) would also be utilized to charge Nezly’s fee for service, or FFS.

The remittance amount would determine the fee charged within a range of 1.5-3% of the total transaction.

They also state that they will create several remittance technologies themselves capable of handling large transactions in an effort to reduce the volatility of the NEZ token once it’s listed on exchanges.

They also state that they have proprietary intellectual property to assist with this, but do not elaborate upon whether this has already been created or is merely aspirational on their part.

Nezly does, however, state that they would run their own Stellar Core nodes for increased reliability of their token.

Their stated reason for building CannaX and the NEZ token on Stellar rather then Ethereum is the superior transaction speeds of Stellar’s network.

2. White Labeling & Branding Services Of The Nezly Mobile App By Dispensaries

This allows for the creation of custom dispensary-branded apps that customers can use to order cannabis products from their Dispensary of choice with Nezly tokens storable on a wallet within the app.

For customers, Nezly thinks the ability to have accurate & live-synced inventory data of what products are actually in stock will lead to decreased frustration and therefore increased brand loyalty to a given dispensary.

According to the whitepaper, dispensaries would also able to “interact with customers through real-time interactive comments.”

How this is different from other methods of supposedly “interactive” communication such as SMS or instant messages evades the understanding of this analyst.

These white-labeled apps will also provide dispensaries with up to date pricing and purchasing trends information from the CannaX exchange.

3. Nezly Buddies

Nezly Buddies is described in the whitepaper as, “An international social engagement app connecting Cannabis partakers together.”

They describe the app as having swipe features analogous to Tinder, while also having separate sections for

  1. Nezly Buddy Events
  2. Gamification Rewards
  3. Product Voting Polls

They will also offer an upgraded premium version of the app that will feature:

  1. Live Member Video Chat
  2. Member Messaging
  3. Member To Member Gifts

Nezly plans to release this app separately from the main Nezly app (the former of which can be white-labeled by dispensaries).

4. Nezly Wallet + Nezly Card

They further state that this is to ensure the app stays as “lightweight and functional as possible.”

Nezly already has beta versions of its mobile wallets for both Android and iOS.

Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux native applications are also in development.

The Nezly card will work by allowing users to load Nezly tokens onto it and use it like any other credit/debit card.

There are some interesting security features specific to the card, however. These include:

  1. Version ID: Denotes the version of the card and what format it will use.
  2. Region Code: A code base on proprietary numbers set forth by Nezly.
  3. Crypto Wallet Checksum: A proprietary checksum that can be used for additional security to verify the Nezly wallet associated with this card.
  4. Nezly App Account Number: A special encoded number based on the user’s actual ID in the system which is generated after signing up for the Nezly app.
  5. Checksum: A Standard checksum similar to other credit cards.

All Nezly Wallet applications will work in tandem with the Nezly Card. Specifically, the Nezly Card has its own hot wallet that the user would load Nezly tokens onto from their software wallet.

It should be noted that although Nezly Wallet applications are immune from any tampering from Nezly staff by the nature of the blockchain, the Nezly Card is only functional because Nezly will act on behalf of users to facilitate payment.

Token

The Nezly token, or NEZ, is the lifeblood of the entire ecosystem. It is the transactional currency customers will pay dispensaries with. It is what dispensaries will pay suppliers with. Essentially any transfer of valued data that occurs within the platform in any capacity is done using NEZ tokens.

The total amount of NEZ tokens is 240,000,000 Of this amount, 168,000,000 tokens total, or 70% of the total supply, will be available to the public via crowd-sales.

The crowd-sales will be divided into three rounds for the NEZ token:

  1. Presale: 36,000,000, or 15%.
  2. ICO: 84,000,000, or 35%
  3. Public Sale: 48,000,000 or 20%

According to the whitepaper, if the hard cap of tokens sold during the pre-sale is not reached, Nezly reserves the right to extend the closing date up to thirty days three separate times.

Any unsold tokens of the 120,000,000 set aside for the presale and the ICO will be burned.

The Public Sale tokens (they label it very confusingly in the whitepaper) are reserved for sale to the public at market prices to facilitate transactions on the Nezly platform once the ICO is over.

Team:

The Nezly team is fairly large. Upon first glance, they seem fairly capable. In this analyst’s view their weakest player is their CEO, Cory Kelly.

The whitepaper describes him as an accomplished and awarded UI/UX designer who has designed for prominent companies such as Nike and Spotify.

Upon review of his Linkedin however, I determined that he was a contract worker for Nike for three months, and a contract worker for Spotify for three months.

These are not nearly long enough periods to demonstrate his true capabilities.

It does appear that the team has recruited a large amount qualified developers and advisers. Notably, they have a prominent biomedical research who specializes in analytical chemistry as an adviser.

Given their emphasis on providing product quality (including lab testing) on the blockchain, it is good that Nezly seems to be seeking truly distinguished expertise. What bothers this analyst is that the core team itself (especially the CEO) seems underwhelming for a project of this scale. The CEO’s influence can clearly be seen in the mockups of the UI, which admittedly does look sleek and easy to use.

Verdict

The cannabis industry is as nascent and untapped a market as the Cryptocurrency industry itself.

In many ways, solutions relying on blockchain technology to meet the needs of an emerging Cannabis industry that struggles to obtain basic banking services and credit card processing seem obvious.

It is apparent that Nezly put forth an interesting proposal envisioning what blockchain technology could do to streamline the Cannabis market.

But in the view of this analyst, their business model fails on a variety of levels.

In essence, Nezly suffers from the issue most new marketplaces do, that is, “the chicken and egg problem.”

For Nezly’s ecosystem to have any value to any participants, there have to be enough participants to generate valuable and actionable data.

For instance, their CannaX Exchange is premised on the idea that the sharing of dynamic product supply & demand information will be valuable to dispensaries and growers because both parties will use the data to make better and more valuable decisions.

But what happens if there aren’t that many dispensaries or farmers to draw data from?

That results in a limited pool of data that does not necessarily reflect the broader market accurately.

To their credit, Nezly seems aware of this and talks up their connections in the Cannabis industry, seemingly to demonstrate that they will have many partners signed up quickly.

But this remains to be seen and is a big IF that may singlehandedly determine the success of their platform.

In addition, while it is currently difficult for Marijuana businesses to access banking and credit/debit processing services, it is not impossible.

The political climate is also steadily heading towards full decriminalization.

Hypothetically, if the legal floodgates opened for standard banking & payment services to service the Marijuana industry tomorrow, I don’t see this platform being able to offer enough value to most businesses to differentiate themselves.

Another huge issue I see with their business model is their focus on making white-label apps for each individual dispensary to use themselves.

In my view, this is the quintessential example of what happens when companies think that everything and every product is better if it’s in some way decentralized.

Consumers don’t want to order from a million different mostly identical apps that only each work for one dispensary.

They want to order from one app that has all potential dispensaries in one place.

That’s why when a customer wants to order takeout food, they use Grubhub or Seamless or a competing platform which offers them all the restaurants they could order from in one application.

The idea that an average customer would download a separate app for each dispensary they would ever want to order from is so ludicrous that part of me is shocked it made it into the whitepaper.

Nezly is missing the forest for the trees.

Risks

  • No guarantee that Nezly will get enough ecosystem participants to generate valuable data. -5
  • A frankly moronic approach to consumer-dispensary interactions. -5
  • A CEO that seems more skilled at exaggerating his capacity to make things look pretty then he is truly making a sustainable platform. -3
  • It seems like they just took a bunch of blockchain related terms, put them in a hat, and picked one at random to inform how to build their platform. -2.5
  • The whitepaper says that 10% of the total token supply will be retained by the Nezly team but that 20% would be put into the Nezly reserve. What this reserve will be used for according to the whitepaper is “future distributions, project initiatives, or promotions.”
  • They also describe it being used to, “help address issues surrounding fluctuations in the circulation of Nezly tokens that might otherwise impact the ability of Nezly tokens to serve as a useful medium of exchange. To that end, we may use Nezly reserve to purchase or sell Nezly tokens on the open market, burn, or lock, a percentage of Nezly tokens in escrow if it is deemed necessary.” So in reality, they have given themselves full control of 30% of the coin supply with no lockup period whatsoever and only a vague suggestion of what they will do with it moving forward. That is a huge red flag that could suggest a possible ICO pump and dump scam. -6
  • Their whitepaper is riddled with typos and in one section even repeats two identical paragraphs. -3

This can be seen here:

-24.5

Growth Potential

  1. The low token supply means that it wouldn’t take a lot of capital to raise the price significantly (When combined with the red flags suggesting an ICO pump and dump scam, this might not be positive.) +4
  2. The platform does seem to have a beautiful UI +4
  3. The CannaX exchange as described does seem to be a potentially very valuable product for the cannabis industry as industry standards begin to formalize. +3.5
  4. Although the political climate may change swiftly, it hasn’t fully yet, and they may have an easy sales pitch by Nezly for dispensaries who don’t want to deal exclusively in cash (a major headache.) +5

Disposition

We arrive at a score of -8/10 for Nezly.

Although it looks very impressive at first glance, the entire project falls apart under closer scrutiny, and may even be a scam.

In short, Nezly is half-baked.

This article should serve as a reminder for all Hacked readers to do their own research and not rely on one short article to determine whether or not they should make an investment.

Investment Details

  • Token Type: Utility
  • Platform: Stellar Lumens
  • Symbol: NEZ
  • Token Supply: 240,000,000
  • Token Crowdsale Prices: Presale: 1 NEZ=.20 USD ICO Round One: 1 NEZ=.25 USD ICO Round 2: 1 NEZ=.30 USD
  • Hard Cap: $7,200,000 For The Presale & $23,200,000 For The ICO
  • Minimum Purchase Price: Presale: $1000 USD. ICO: 100 USD.
  • Accepted Crowdsale Payment Methods: Stellar Lumens, Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD.
  • Public Sale: Apr. 20, 2018.
  • Jurisdictions Barred From Participating: Unclear from Whitepaper.
  • Website: https://nezly.com
  • Whitepaper: https://nezly.com/Nezly-Whitepaper.pdf

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.