Polybius: “a contemporary banking institution with a progressive approach.” Do what? A banking institution and an ICO? What sorcery is this?
This is our obvious first reaction to the words “banking institution” in reference to an Initial Coin Offering. Bitcoin, which never had an ICO and whose exchanges sprouted organically, was and is very much about “being your bank,” as in, not relying on centralized entities to steward your wealth. The biggest problems Bitcoin has faced have arisen when centralized entities experienced problems – enter Mt. Gox, Bitfinex, and the Silk Road.
Nevertheless, since we brought it up, we’re obligated to take a close look at Polybius, which claims on its website to have raised over $11 million already by time of writing.
Is Modern Banking An Oxymoron?
Banking itself dates to a time when people’s currency was heavy and constantly vulnerable. Bankers were able to make money by using the funds when their owners were not using them, and for a long time this was the best civilization could do in terms of guarding assets. As the modern age has progressed, we have witnessed more and more legacy institutions fall behind the pace of technology. Our governments and banks remain vulnerable to virtual attack; our institutions are increasingly unreliable and inefficient by comparison to the technological solutions which have arisen.
Polybius, unlike nearly every other cryptocurrency initiative ever, doesn’t appear to believe the banking system is broken fundamentally. Instead, they think it can be reformed through technology, and this is what they apparently aim to do with Polybius.
Polybius Foundation, a team of financial, security, legal and technical experts is raising funds for its project Polybius Bank. Our goal is to capitalize on the broader digitalization trend […] It will have all the functions of a classical bank, but will not host any branches nor physical front-offices and will rely fully on the latest digital technologies.
Okay, so you mean like Ally Bank, ING Direct, Green Dot, or any of the myriad of other online banks that do not have any physical services? Thus far we’re not hearing much difference between those and this, other than that those did not go to the public with an ICO in order to raise funds for their businesses. What else?
It will aim to enable secure and seamless connections between life and the things we love and use every day.
Not just vague, this, but boring! Thus far, in the Polybius Prospectus, we’re not seeing anything more than you’d see in a destined-to-fail slide deck at any VC meeting. In fact, the problem that Polybius purportedly wants to solve arguably has dozens, if not hundreds, of solutions on the market, probably none of which are trying to crowdfund their bootstrap funds.
For the purpose of this article, we put forth the following notion: banking itself is archaic and therefore can only be modernized to the extent that it can ease the transition to era-native solutions like the blockchain. This being the stance of the author, the idea of creating a “modern bank” for the “digital generation” is already underwhelming, as a concept, and probably futile as en effort.
But regulatory concerns persist in the cryptocurrency space. Ripple has seen significant gains due to its regulator-friendly approach to blockchain implementation, while Bitcoin, which has few if any regulator-friendly features, has seen even greater gains. Therefore, a project which aims at compliance from the start does have some potential for growth. In theory.
More A Traditional Investment Than An ICO
The token produced in most ICOs has some later purpose like trading or using within an ecosystem, but in this case, the only purpose is to hold in order to collect profits. At the end of each year, 20% of the bank’s profits will be transferred to a designated Ethereum wallet, and from there they will be distributed to token holders. This means that the tokens can still be sold between people, but that speculation will probably not be the primary usage of PLBTs.
Therefore, this analysis is not so much about the token but about the potential profitability and performance of the bank it is underwriting.
Polybius will only operate in the European Union at the outset, due to its familiarity with the region, according to the business model. It would seem ironic if they were to remain in this mode, as they wish to serve the “digital generation,” which is essentially a borderless generation.
The business model document only plans for a fundraising of up to $6 million, but at time of writing the bank claimed to have already raised over twice that amount. At this level, in terms of products and services, they intend to offer:
- E-commerce gateway
- Peer-to-peer loan facilitation (on which Polybius will profit by commission)
- Managed cryptocurrency investments
- Debit cards/EFT services
The model does not go into specifics as to the actual meat and bones of the company at this point in the game. Presumably Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as Euros, would be usable for an account holder. The question of profitability comes to mind. By their own forecasts, Polybius believes that by the end of 2018 they will be operating somewhere between a 35 and 40% profit level. The question is how they will achieve that, and how valuable any of the above listed services are to consumers and businesses.
The e-commerce gateway model is dominated by Coinbase, Bitpay, Bitgo, and a few others. A new addition, despite the rise of cryptocurrencies, does not exactly raise eyebrows in terms of prospects.
Peer-to-peer loan facilitation, however, conducted by a regulated and state-certified entity, via cryptocurrency, could be a big hit. BTCJam, a Bitcoin-only version of Kickstarter, has faced regulatory issues everywhere it has operated, and last year halted operations in the United States as a result. Firms which can deftly navigate the micro-loan and peer-to-peer loan market are potentially embarking on huge returns.
Managed cryptocurrency portfolios might be interesting, but these funds will have to prove themselves before they will actually reach a real profit for the company via commissions and fees.
Debit cards are a dime a dozen anymore. It would seem obvious that if they’re going to be a traditional bank then debit cards would be a requirement. The ceiling on fees for these is pretty low, as well, given the level of competition.
Overall, this 40% figure can only derive from the fact that the actual costs of launching these initiatives is relatively low, not from the bombast of the offerings.
The Polybius Foundation
Like many of the Ethereum ICOs, the heavy lifting for this project has largely been done or can be contracted, so most of their team is focused on business operations.
The project is mostly being spearheaded by HashCoins, an Estonian company which focuses on blockchain technology. They don’t list a lot of credits on their site, but testimonials are present from CryptoPay, AdVendor, and EmerCoin, none of which are massive names. This is not a drawback, necessarily, but what we’re saying here is that the company doesn’t have some huge track record of giant profits.
At the helm of HashCoins is Ivan Turygin. Turygin has not made a lot of public statements during his professional life. His LinkedIn profile lists HashCoins and Burfa Capital as his two primary positions for the past four years, and before that he worked as a CEO for a company called Delirium. According to the Internet,
Dilerium Ou is a relatively mature organization in the lumber and other building material companies industry located in Tallinn, Estonia.
Turygin’s experience at Burfa Capital might be helpful to his current venture. Unfortunately, the English-speaking Internet doesn’t know much about projects which Burfa Capital has backed, so a good track record can’t really be garnered that way.
Moving over to the co-founder, Sergei Potapenko, it becomes more evident that both Burfa Capital and Burfa Media are projects the two started together. From what we can gather, they made their money in the Siberian timber trade and are looking to put their money into more financial instruments through HashCoins and Polybius, among others potentially in the future.
Potapenko has no other work history besides his entrepreneurial endeavors, post-college.
They have a handful of other people working with them at HashCoins, and then an equivalent number of advisors, none of whom are overly notable from this perspective, but some of whom have important offerings, like Ugo Bechis, a financial advisor and economist with a long career.
The team itself doesn’t appear to be lacking in the abilities required, nonetheless, although, as previously stated, much of the technical work has either been done or can be contracted, which could be the intention, although HashCoins of course has developers on staff. The lead developer for the Polybius project is Renna Reemet, who has numerous employment credentials since leaving college, including as a PHP Developer for something called Creditstar Group.
There are some angles in this project that can be worked into a profitable mode, but the likelihood of failure is pretty high from this writer’s perspective, given that there are no truly revolutionary offerings here. Their managed trading portfolio offering will probably be overshadowed by ShapeShift’s Prism, their Debit card, as noted, is anything but special, and their other services are likely to take a long time to really gain traction.
But the approach is there, and there is potential due to their regulator-focused approach.
Therefore we will give Polybius a 4.9 out of 10 in terms of likelihood of recouping funds invested. A bit higher (5.1) if you intend to recoup them by trading, shorting, or otherwise messing with the token itself, but on simple profitability of holding the token itself, we’ll say your odds are a little less than half in this case.
There will be no fixed supply of PLBT tokens, but the price is fixed at $10. An unlimited number of tokens can be created and purchased during the crowdsale. The tokens primary function is for redemption of stake in the bank itself, not trading, although they are of course tradable, and secondary markets are likely if the growth of the ICO continues. So far, at $10 per token with a declining (by week) discount, they have raised over 12 million dollars. This means they’ve minted at least 1.2m PLBT tokens so far. According to their FAQ, you can make purchases in multiple ways:
- Wire transfer in USD and EUR (Minimum purchase amount 10 PLBT)
- BTC, ETH, USDT direct transfer (Minimum purchase amount 1 PLBT)
- Multiple cryptocurrencies supported by ShapeShift.io (Minimum purchase amount 1 PLBT)
- Emercoin (EMC) direct transfer (Minimum purchase amount 100 PLBT)
- Debit/Credit card payment (Visa/Mastercard) (Minimum purchase amount 1 PLBT)
It should be noted that the project is in no way stating that there is some kind of $10 floor on the PLBT token. To guesstimate a floor based on the initial price, you have to rely on the rationality of the initial purchasers, most of whom, it would seem, are investing with an eye toward reaping rewards at the end of the business year.
You can invest today, if you wish, by going to ico.polybius.io.
ICO Analysis: Worldcore
From the perspective of ICOs, Worldcore stands apart for the fact that it is already known as a successful payment solution. Established in 2014, the Czech-based company offers an online transfer service that specializes in bank wires, prepaid withdrawal cards, instant credit card payments and free money transfers.
The company only recently announced plans to create a peer-to-peer lending platform hosted over the blockchain. While some may say Worldcore is being opportunistic, it boasts a client base of more than 25,000 people across the globe. In 2017, it has already cleared $100 million in transaction volume.
As a regulated payment solution with an EU license to operate in the Czech Republic, Worldcore has had great success in its first few years. It has an established track record, a decent business model and aspirations of global expansion. It also picked the right time to enter crypto.
But that doesn’t mean Worldcore doesn’t have limitations. As we’ll discuss in the following sections, the company’s lofty valuation is more than just a pat on the back for the good work it has done in recent years.
If that isn’t enough, we invite anyone to visit the company’s site (or is it, this one?) and try to make sense exactly what it is that Worldcore offers. The author isn’t proud to admit he had to visit several third-party websites just to figure out that the company is an online transfer service. You might be thinking, bad copywriters? Maybe. But what if we told you Worldcore is also planning to launch a 24/7 TV service? From the scant details we were able to obtain from the whitepaper, WorldcoreTV will be launched if and when the company raises $25 million. On that note, the whitepaper is a 73-page poster that doesn’t offer much to the tech-savvy investor.
Worldcore launched its WRC token Oct. 14 on the Ethereum blockchain. One WRC is valued at $0.10 USD, with a total market cap of $100 million USD. A total of 1 billion tokens will be circulated during the ICO. Investors can participate in the raise using fiat currencies like the euro and U.S. dollar, as well as cryptocurrencies.
Worldcore’s motivation for the crowdraise is to leverage the blockchain in pursuit of bigger business. The company isn’t just dabbing its foot in the ledger technology, but actually converting its business operation to enable greater blockchain capability.
In its whitepaper, the company emphasizes the following target audience for its services:
- Big companies
- Online shops and retailers
- Online marketplaces
- Common people
- All kinds of small business
With a list like that, it’s clear Worldcore is thinking very big. The company’s global reach is demonstrated by the fact that it has translated its website into more than ten languages.
Anyone who wants to send money overseas, facilitate business-to-business transactions and utilize unique security enhancements like voice recognition is Worldcore’s target market.
The company has an aggressive roadmap that begins by obtaining membership of the major credit cards, SWIFT and SEPA networks by Q1 2018. With $10 million in funding, it plans to open “5 fully-packed offices in 5 more EU countries” by Q1 2019. If it reaches $25 million in funding, it will launch its WorldcoreTV service, “the world’s first 24/7 hybrid of TV channel and digital media focused on Fintech & BlockChain industries with online and international 24/7 broadcasting through Satellite and IPTV.”
At $50 million raised, the company plans to transform into a Swiss bank. It believes it can do this by mid-2019.
WRC tokens are essentially a stake in the newly developed blockchain-focused company. In other words, think of your WRC tokens as stocks. There doesn’t seem to be any direct use of the tokens within the company’s network, except to reap profits from Worldcore’s business growth. Worldcore is offering 30% profit to its investors.
If “slow money” isn’t your style, you can trade the WRC token on the digital currency exchange. This option will be available to token holders immediately. The company says it will provide a full list of exchanges where WRC is accepted at the end of the ICO.
In terms of personnel, there’s quite a bit of clout behind the Worldcore executive. Founder and CEO Alex Nasonov was listed in the Financial Times annual ranking of New Europe 100 changemakers in Central and Eastern Europe. The company also has a solid list of general partners that includes Bitpay.
Against this backdrop, the author has little doubt that Worldcore is home to a solid team. However, very little information is provided about them, their credentials or the advisers they’ve selected.
Based on the whitepaper, Worldcore is home to at least three developers, 20-plus support and development staff and a core team of managers. The company also consults with advisers, but does not name them.
The team operates in accordance with EU law, so there’s little to be concerned about from the perspective of legitimacy, regulation and business ethics.
Worldcore is a highly ambitious company with a proven track record in its niche market. But as an outsider, understanding the company’s service offerings and assigning it a valuation has proven difficult. We feel that the strategy behind the capital raise veers away from the company’s core service offering. As an outsider, the roadmap for growth seems a little far fetched (as a reminder, Worldcore says it can become a full-fledged Swiss bank in less than two years).
- At $100 million USD, Worldcore is significantly overvalued. Although the company doesn’t state its revenues, the price tag is too high for what it currently offers. Of course, this hard cap is based on potential, but the author isn’t too excited about WorldcoreTV. -5
- The roadmap for growth makes very little sense. Capital raise via ICO makes even less sense from the information we gathered from the whitepaper and the website. -3
- Although the development team has been involved in blockchain since 2016, there’s no mention of blockchain or cryptocurrency expertise or experience. The team has done a good job offering an online payment service, but what exactly does this mean from the perspective of blockchain? By the looks of it, Worldcore is taking a deep dive into this technology. Can we really be sure it’s going about it the right way? -3
- Competition looms large for any blockchain-based payment service. This will work against Worldcore, which, again, has very little experience. -3
- Worldcore is scaling up its core services quickly, and the company expects to clear $150 million in transaction volume this year. +4
- The company’s CEO has established a good track record that has not gone unrecognized. +1
Based on the above, we assign the Worldcore ICO a rating of 1 out of 10. The holes in the business plan are simply too glaring to even consider funding a project of this nature. We certainly don’t take anything away from the company’s growth, but the project idea does not compute.
Hacked.com members have a high propensity for spotting shoddy whitepapers. The Worldcore write-up is one of the weakest seen. Once again, we invite our members to give it a read and share if they have any unique or differing perspectives.
For more information about the Worldcore token raise, visit the main website.
- Project Type: Crowdsale
- Opening Date: Oct. 14, 2017
- End Date; Nov. 14, 2017
- Platform: Ethereum (ETH)
- Total Supply: 1 billion tokens
- Token Price: $0.10 USD (all unsold tokens will be burned upon the ICO’s closure)
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
ICO Analysis: Genesis Vision
Genesis Vision is creating a platform for a private trust management market based on blockchain and smart contracts which will serve as an ecosystem for traders, investors and brokers.
Gensis is proposing a system which will enable investors to passively invest in BOTH cryptocurrencies and traditional assets. Trust management in this reference is a system where investors transfer their funds to wealth management companies/fiduciaries/experts who manage and invest these funds in assets which match the investor’s risk profile. The total amount of funds under management globally were at $70 trillion in 2016, and are expected to reach $100 trilllion in 2020.
Having personally worked in this industry for a few years, the author has seen some of its grey areas very closely. Wealth management companies measure their success by the amount of funds they are managing, which incentivizes them to attract as much capital as they can. While investors select fund managers based on their past performance, these numbers can be easily overstated by creating personalized statistics for performance measurement and working in tandem with brokers. Even the fee structure is kept opaque in many instances, with many types of “hidden” fees being charged to the customers. Many fund managers receive bonuses which are 15-20 times of their base salaries, which incentivizes them to keep the fee structure high and opaque. While investors have kept investing money with wealth managers, numbers show that only 17% of them have managed to beat their respective benchmarks in the past 10 years.
Genesis Value Proposition
Genesis Vision is a decentralized trust management platform built on blockchain technology and smart contracts. Blockchain technology provides indispensable advantages, such as openness, immutability, and censorship-resistance of all stored information, whereas smart contracts, which will be carrying out investment and profit distribution, make these processes completely transparent and open. Each manager in the Genesis Vision network has his own cryptocurrency. The size of the issue depends on successful trade statistics. The process of transferring funds to the manager is carried out by buying a manager’s cryptocurrency on the internal exchange.
There will be 3 core elements of the Genesis ecosystem: investment managers, investors and the brokers. Investors and the investment managers will interact with the platform using the mobile app or the web based application. Each manager will have his own Ethereum based token. Investors will contribute the funds that they want invested and will get the manager’’s tokens in return. A manager’s tokens gain their value from the performance of his portfolio and will trade on Genesis’s internal exchange. The manager shares the profits from the portfolio after fixed intervals, which are shared with his token holders. Smart contracts facilitate all the transactions. Every trade that a manager makes is stored in the decentralized IFPS which is visible to all and makes the system transparent.
The part of the ecosystem discussed above is enough for cryptocurrency based asset management, however when dealing with traditional assets, the brokers come into play. As of now and maybe for a foreseeable future, Genesis will only facilitate cryptocurrency and Forex based asset management. When an asset manager includes Forex in his portfolio, the investor’s funds will be routed through a broker who will buy the required fiat currency and supply it to the asset manager.
The proposed business model has benefits for all participants which includes investors, managers and the brokers. The investors benefit from the transparency while the investors and brokers get to access a larger demographic.
If you remove the Forex part of the project, the idea is similar to what Melonport and CoinDash are doing. All three of them facilitate any trader to create and manage crypto based portfolios. Genesis differentiates itself by including the traditional asset part as well as creating individual tokens for each asset manager.
Token and Crowdraise
Genesis Vision has its own token: GVT ( Genesis Vision Token). GVT is based on ERC20 Ethereum token standard.GVT will be used for all investment operations, profit distributions, and managers’ token trading on the internal Exchange.
Along with GVT, each manager will have his own token. The manager’s tokens will only trade on the internal exchanges where users can buy them in exchange of GVT.
The GVT are limited in number and as demand for the platform grows, so does the value of GVTs.
The ICO started on 15th October 2017 and is open till 15th November. 75% of the 44 million tokens are available for the ICO and 1 GVT is valued at 1 USD (hardcap $33 million). A 20% bonus is available for the next 2 days. 40% of the funds raised will be used for product development while 30% are dedicated to marketing. Genesis will be marketing the product heavily amongst users and brokers, hence the higher allocation. The team will keep 11% of the tokens.
The Genesis Vision team ranks highly on credibility. With transparency at the core of the Genesis Vision project, the team had their Initial Coin Offering certified by The Financial Commission successfully. The Financial Commission is “an independent self-regulatory organization and external dispute resolution body, primarily dedicated to Forex.”
Genesis is the first ICO to be certified by the Financial Commission. One of the 3 cofounders Alexey Kutsenko is the CEO of Tools For Brokers. Tools For Brokers (TFB)is a fintech company working exclusively with brokers and has around 300 brokers as clients. The close relations of TFB will facilitate broker participation in Genesis Vision. The other two cofounders Ruslan Kamenskiy and Dmitry Nazarov started working on the project in 2016 and won the HackRussia all-Russian hackathon in the nomination “Finance and Blockchain” with the Genesis Vision project. There are 10 members in the team and 13 prolific advisors, many of them being CEOs and founders of Russia based wealth management companies.
Credibility is always a top priority when looking at ICOs and Genesis has plenty of it.
Genesis builds up on the existing blockchain based asset management firms by enabling a window for traditional assets. Although the initial product focuses only on cryptocurrencies and Forex, many investors will find value in holding multiple fiat and cryptocurrencies together. The concept of each asset manager having his own currency seems really cool and will help attracting many potential traders/analysts. However, there is intense competition in blockchain based asset management space with companies like Melonport already working on betas with a thousand users. We hope Genesis does not lose a significant market when it rolls out its first version in 2019.
- The gateway to traditional assets will not be easy. Genesis will face many regulatory headwinds when it eventually expands in traditional assets beyond Forex. -2
- As mentioned above, Genesis faces intense competition in cryptocurrency asset management space. -3
- Although the concept of asset managers having their own currencies sounds interesting, it makes the project much more complicated. -0.25
- The first version of the product will be released in 2019, which seems a bit stretched. -1
- Although the share Forex asset management is lower than other forms of asset management, it still is humongous considering the total market size of $70 trillion. +4
- Credible management and the advisory team is a big positive. +3
- Genesis already has a solution for trust management market used by 80 financial companies. The working solution is based on a b2b model and is centralized. +3
- Genesis has good relations with around 400 brokers and 50+ wealth management companies. This will help them scale very quickly. +2
We arrive at a score of +5.75 out of 10 for Genesis Vision. There is no softcap and unsold tokens during the ICO will be burned which might result in potential upside in case the hardcap is not reached. Overall we have a positive view of Genesis.
The ICO is live. You can buy the tokens here.
ICO Analysis: Bloom
Credit scoring serves an integral function in the lending process. Yet, in 2015, U.S. Congress declared credit scoring to be a monopoly controlled by one organization: FICO. The data analytics company is responsible for scoring more than 90% of top U.S. lenders, leaving some 26 million Americans unable to obtain credit.
A similar monopoly exists globally. More than one-third (38%) of the world’s population does not have a bank account, and 3 billion people are unable to qualify for a credit card. Although creditors would love to serve this untapped market, traditional credit bureaus cannot score prospective borrowers unless they’ve already taken on debt.
Against this backdrop, Bloom has emerged as a global, decentralized credit protocol that addresses existing limitations in lending by applying blockchain technology to credit scoring and risk assessment.
Bloom is a protocol for assessing credit risk through federated attestation-based identity verification and the creation of a network of peer-to-peer and organizational creditworthiness vouching (“credit staking”). – Bloom Whitepaper (2017).
Through the Bloom protocol, lenders will be able to issue complaint loans on the blockchain at affordable rates. In doing so, the Bloom protocol seeks to address five overlapping issues:
- Cross-border credit scoring: Credit histories in one jurisdiction do not apply to other jurisdictions, forcing borrowers to re-establish their credit score when they relocate.
- Backward-looking credit assessment: Borrowers with no credit history are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to obtaining a loan or credit card.
- Lenders are limited in terms of global reach: Lenders are usually unable to serve borrowers in underdeveloped markets because they lack identity and scoring information to base their decisions.
- Risk of identity theft: When applying for a loan, borrowers must bear all their personal information, giving potential hackers more information to commit fraud.
- Lack of competition: The credit scoring industry is heavily concentrated, resulting in an uncompetitive market.
The Bloom protocol is based on three components. Together, the seek to overcome the five challenges posed above.
- BloomID: Identity attestation allows borrowers to obtain a global secure identity, making it easier for creditors to assess them.
- BloomIQ: A credit registry that tracks current and historical debt obligations tied to a borrower’s BloomID.
- Bloom Score: The credit score measuring consumers’ creditworthiness.
While certainly making a strong case for a decentralized credit scoring platform, Bloom doesn’t specifically address how the system will solve the five problems highlighted above. Instead, it seems to show that BloomID, BloomIQ and Bloom Score will address the problems by creating a globally portable credit profile that will: (1) apply across borders; (2) enable a backward-looking credit assessment regardless of jurisdiction; (3) safeguard consumer information through a secure system as well as globally-recognized identity attestation; and (4) create a global market place for creditors to access borrowers who have fallen outside the purview of traditional finance.
Although the author’s conjecture may be sound, the whitepaper does not provide specific details on how this system will work, let alone explain the regulatory challenges standing in the way of this vision. This is discussed in greater detail in the Verdict section.
The company has laid out how this protocol will improve on the current system of credit evaluation:
The Bloom protocol improves the current credit ecosystem by creating a globally portable and inclusive credit profile, reducing the need for traditional banking infrastructure and opaque, proprietary credit scores. This means both traditional fiat lenders and digital asset lenders will be able to also securely serve the 3 billion people who currently cannot obtain a bank account or credit score.
The Bloom token (BLT) is powered by the Ethereum blockchain, and will serve both as a currency and governance mechanism on the network. In other words, BLT will allow organizations to evaluate user identity and credit worthiness. The companies using the Bloom network will pay for identity verification and risk assessment using BLT.
As such, the BLT token can be used in three ways:
- Scoring Proposals: The BLT token essentially serves as the governance mechanism for the network. Through token-based voting, bad actors are held to account.
- Security: BLT allows the Bloom network to implement fees for invitations. By imposing small costs on each transactions, attacks are not economically viable.
- Payment: The token serves as the primary currency on the Bloom network.
The Bloom team consists of four core members: Jesse Leimgruber, Ryan Faber, Alain Meier and John Backus. The founding team members have backgrounds in computer science, digital marketing and blockchain. John Backus’ resume strikes our attention given his role as research scientist at the Stanford Bitcoin Group.
In addition to the founding team, Bloom has three advisers on board, including Meg Nakumura, CEO of Shift Payments. Joseph Urgo has also been recruited from District0x, an Ethereum dApp. David Raphael of Infinity Media also brings with him experience in conversion rate optimism. Overall, the brains behind Bloom appear to be well qualified and highly focused.
Very few ICOs are as highly regarded as Bloom. This massive undertaking has the potential to become a highly lucrative enterprise. Bloom’s expansion into credit card services is also commendable. To speed up adoption, the company will launch the BloomCard, a blockchain credit card intended to serve as the model for all future credit providers.
On the flip side, significant challenges remain. Unless they are addressed, the company may struggle winning over institutional adoption. Providing a clearer implementation timetable is also needed to win over investors. The author believes that an updated whitepaper is warranted as Bloom moves forward with its raise.
- The credit scoring industry is mired in regulations that become even more complex when the moment we cross borders. Bloom has not outlined how it intends to navigate these issues. -3
- Although the team has outlined a roadmap for implementation, no dates are provided. How fast will they be able to scale? Is the existing team sufficient in reshaping the global credit scoring industry (i.e., overtaking FICO)? -2
- There’s probably a good reason why many people struggle to get credit. Is Bloom’s business model inherently risky? And will creditors be willing to take a gamble on borrowers with bad or no credit? -2
- Bloom is presented with an undeniably lucrative opportunity to link creditors with unbanked populations. More than one-third of the world’s population does not have a bank account and many more do not have access to credit. +4
- The credit industry has been under the microscope following Equifax’s massive data breach, which exposed the private information of 143 million users. The combination of BloomID and security for invitations makes Bloom a much more secure platform. +4
- Unlike other ICOs, Bloom’s multi-purpose token adds real value to the business. +2
- The Bloom platform is likely to benefit from positive publicity tied to its admirable business objective of expanding credit options to all. +2
Factoring all the above, we give Bloom a generous score of 5 out of 10. It should be noted that the ICO launch date has yet to be announced, which means our rating may be revised once details of the pre-sale surface.
Bloom is a highly ambitious project that, if realized, will benefit society in many ways. But there are glaring concerns related to regulation, credit risk and implementation that still need to be addressed. Combined, these factors could adversely impact institutional adoption.
The Bloom protocol will be developed in six major phases, culminating in the democratized autonomous credit infrastructure. The pace and timing of that roll out has yet to be determined, a clear sign that Bloom is still in its early concept stage.
Another review of Bloom is likely warranted once the company provides more explanation regarding its technical features, and how it plans to tackle the five problems discussed in its whitepaper.
No ICO pre-sale information has been provided yet. Users are encouraged to follow Bloom’s website or subscribe to their newsletter for the latest information.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock
- How Bithumb Listing is Boosting Zcash Cryptocurrency on the Coin Market October 18, 2017
- Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Asian shares trading higher as Communist Party Congress convenes in China October 18, 2017
- ICO Analysis: Worldcore October 18, 2017
- Japan’s Mainstream Acceptance of Cryptocurrency Might Not Apply to ICOs October 18, 2017
- Dow Jones Hits New Record After Brief Stint at 23,000 October 17, 2017
- Daily Analysis: Dollar Rally Continues amid Fed Chair Confusion October 17, 2017
- Technical Analysis: NEO Jumps as Broad Markets Turns Lower October 17, 2017
- Trade Recommendation: Syscoin October 17, 2017
- Trade Recommendation: Lisk October 17, 2017
- Information on Russia’s Regulation of Cryptocurrency Surfaces October 17, 2017
Ethereum1 week ago
Ethereum’s Hard Fork Is Coming
Analysis6 days ago
Analysis: Bitcoin Price at $5200, How Much is There Left in the Tank?
Analysis5 days ago
Technical Analysis: Ethereum, Monero, and Litecoin Jump as Bitcoin Goes Parabolic
Analysis3 days ago
5 Things to Watch Next Week: Byzantium, Bitcoin Stretched, Gold’s Strength, The Next Fed Chair, Kirkuk and Crude Oil
Cryptocurrencies7 days ago
Trade Recommendation: Monero
ICO3 days ago
ICO Analysis: UTRUST
ICO6 days ago
ICO Analysis: Request Network
Analysis6 days ago
Technical Analysis: Litecoin Follows Bitcoin Higher as Market Tops $165 billion