ICO Analysis: OS.University
Blockchain is no longer just the “technology behind bitcoin,” as governments around the world and businesses from a wide range of industries have jumped on the bandwagon. A skyrocketing amount of investment is pouring into the technology, and is being put to work in hiring top-notch developers for all kinds of new blockchain-based projects.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, “bitcoin” was rated as the fastest-growing skill among online freelance workers, according to a report from global freelancing website Upwork. In the quarter, blockchain-related job posts on the website jumped 2,194 percent, from 96 a year ago to 2,200 in Q4 2017.
LinkedIn also reported a substantial increase in blockchain-related jobs in recent years. Just in the financial services and insurances industries, blockchain-related job postings increased 9.4 times from 2014 to 2017, while software development postings rose 4.6 times. Indeed.com also said that the number of blockchain-related jobs increased 207% year-on-year at the end of 2017.
Along with the demand for new workers, there is also a growing interest in the jobs, partly due to the high pay they offer. According to Upwork, some of these jobs pay over $200 per hour for top talent.
Naturally, this has also led to a growing demand for relevant education in the field of Blockchain technology. We have already seen a few education initiatives launching their own blockchain-based platforms and tokens this year. Some of these, for example the Academy Token, were already established companies within the education industry seeking to take advantage of all the buzz surrounding the technology, and therefore launching their own token.
In the case of the Academy token, it was simply a rebranding of the old Kingsland University.
OS.University (Open Source University) is taking a slightly different approach to this, although it also aims to connect education providers and learners using Blockchain technology.
According to their white paper, OS.University is a decentralized platform that bridges the gap between businesses and education through Blockchain and smart contracts. The Blockchain will be used to validate and verify learners’ credentials, while smart contracts are intended to be used to manage content purchases, marketplace transactions, and hiring processes.
The main idea behind OS.University is to create a meeting place for the following three groups:
Each of these groups will benefit by being able to connect via a trustless blockchain-based platform without the need for any intermediary that drives up costs for everyone involved.
OS.University is issuing a new token called the EDU, a utility token built on the Ethereum ERC20 standard.
Potential token buyers should note that the EDU token is a utility token, and not a security token. This means that token holders do NOT have the right to:
- Participate in any kind of revenue-sharing
- Receive dividends of any kind
The incentive for holding EDU tokens is basically that they allow for commission-free transactions within the platform, whereas the use of other cryptocurrencies will be subject to commission fees. Further, the team claims that the EDU token will allow for future scaling of the platform beyond just the Ethereum Blockchain.
30% of the fees collected in the form of EDU tokens will be burned in order to maintain the value of the token.
During the first stage of the pre-sale, the token price was 1,350 EDU per 1 ETH. At the current stage, the price has risen to 1,200 EDU per ETH, and it will be raised again to 750 EDU per ETH once the crowd sale begins on June 4.
Out of a total token supply of 48 million EDU, there are 34.8 million tokens available for sale. According to the pricing information on the website, we get the following information about valuation:
- 2,601,600 EDU/1,350 EDU/ETH = 1,927.11 ETH
- 2,198,400 EDU/1,200 EDU/ETH = 1,832 ETH
- 30,000,000 EDU/750 EDU/ETH = 40,000 ETH
Adding up these numbers, we arrive at a market cap of 43,759 ETH, or nearly $30 million given current exchange rates. According to Coinmarketcap.com, that would be enough for the EDU token to rank around number 300 on their list.
With the company behind OS.University being based in Bulgaria, most team members are also Bulgarian nationals. In addition, a lot of the media coverage and some of the other videos that the team has put up on their website is in Bulgarian language only, although some of it does have English subtitles.
The website also features a long list of advisors and project ambassadors. This is perhaps not surprising, given the fact that the website also has two buttons anyone can click to “Join the advisory board” or “Become an Ambassador”.
OS.University’s team members come from a variety of interesting backgrounds within both the technology field and academia.
Hristian Daskalov is the project lead, and has experience as the co-founder of the Center for Open Science at the Technical University of Sofia in Bulgaria. He is also a former advisor at the National Specialization Strategy for Research & Innovation.
Technoloy lead is Jordan Jambazov, a software developer with more than 10 years’ experience in the field, and an advocate for open source software development.
Additionally, the team consists of a number of people to fill roles such investment advisor, strategy advisor, and academic advisor, marketing, and so on.
It is, however, somewhat unclear who really works on the project on a daily basis and who are only loosely affiliated as an “advisor.” This is not unique for OS.University, but rather a common problem with many ICOs today.
The main issue with OS.University from an investment standpoint is that the company does not have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) at this point. According to the FAQ section on their website, the alpha version of their platform will be released before the start of the token crowd sale on June 4. This date was also confirmed by a representative from the team on Telegram.
That would be all good if it wasn’t for the fact that the price per token will rise significantly once the public sale opens after the launch of alpha version. This means that more conservative investors who want to make sure they are getting what they pay for should wait until after the launch of the alpha version. We then suggest you check for yourself that this is actually a working product that you believe in before you invest in this ICO.
Other than that, the white paper appears well-written and is fairly detailed. There were still some details about the token that we couldn’t find in the white paper and on the website, but their marketing representative replied us after asking questions via Telegram.
- There may be a need for a meeting place to better connect the needs between the three groups targeted by OS.University: Academia, Businesses, and Learners. +2
- The Blockchain allows for secure storage and verification of education credentials. Fake resumes and diplomas are a big issue, so if this verification mechanism really works, it could potentially be a game-changer. +4
- The team appears competent and with the technical expertise necessary to carry out the project from a technical standpoint. +2
- 30% of platform fees in the form of EDU tokens will be burned, which should help to at least maintain and maybe increase the value of the token over time as the platform matures. +2
- Although the team appears competent from a technical standpoint, they still have a way to go when it comes to the admin and marketing side of things. The Telegram group has more than 54,000 members, but very little activity and it occasionally takes admins a long time to answer even simple questions. -3
- We are unsure about the level of commitment from “advisors” and “ambassadors,” given the fact that the website lists a large number of them and it appears as if anyone can sign up as an advisor via their website. -2
In summary, the idea that OS.University has can clearly work if carried out in the right way. The main problem with this ICO is the lack of a working MVP at the time of this writing, which should make investors question how much they want to commit at this time.
Overall, we arrive at a score of 5 out of 10 for the OS.University ICO.
- Token Type: Utility
- Platform: Ethereum ERC20
- Symbol: EDU
- Pre-ICO: Nov 20, 2017 to Jun 3, 2018
- Public ICO: June 4, 2018
- Token Supply: 48 million
- Tokens Available for Sale: 34.8 million
- Price: Pre-sale: 1,200 EDU = 1 ETH, crowd sale: 750 EDU = 1 ETH
- Minimum investment: 0.5 ETH during pre-sale, no minimum during crowd sale
- Payments Accepted: ETH, BTC, fiat currencies
- Jurisdictions Barred from Participating: USA
Join pre-sale: https://os.university/private-presale/
Featured image from Pixabay.
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 OS.University at the time of writing.