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ICO Analysis: Productivist

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The ‘Productivist blockchain project’ hopes to define and implement a “new standard of smart production” (whitepaper) that focuses on key areas for improvement such as service quality, fairness of pricing, and an overall increase in the efficiency of production.

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The Current State of Smart Manufacturing

Supply chain and manufacturing sectors have adapted numerous times as a result of the many technological, social and economic changes that have taken place throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

So much that a word has been coined to denote the current set of changes that are taking place.

The ‘industry 4.0’ or ‘industrial revolution 4.0’ (also known as ‘smart manufacturing’) describes a future state which many believe we are in the process of transitioning towards. It comprises of ideals such as interoperability between workers (human and machine), the effective exchange of data, and a cross-reliance regarding technical support & problem-solving functions.

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Additional core principles include informational transparency and the decentralization of decision making.

So How Does It Work?

Split up into various compartmentalized service layers aimed at different levels of user, the Productivist platform incorporates functions that benefit parties on both sides of the supply chain.

It’s based on decentralized blockchain architecture which means that the storage, tracking and indexing of records is inherently immutable, transparent, and encrypted.

The primary use case will be the community driven market system, where matchmaking protocols will facilitate direct and decentralized negotiations, in addition to bid and tender proposal processes.

Resulting agreements will be recorded and enforced using ‘Smart contracts’, which are a well-proven decentralized blockchain-based innovation.

Benefits over traditional forms of contract include the elimination of legislative intermediaries and court litigation fees, in addition to automated enforcement of agreed terms.

A Deeper Dive into the Technology

Productivist’s platform uses Hyperledger architecture, a collaboration of concurrent projects led by the Linux Foundation as a means of fostering a mutually beneficial set of standards.

As all Hyperledger code is open-source it, along with all the inner workings of Productivist, is transparent. Technical peers, potential investors and partners can verify everything with their own eyes to determine whether the code is viable, and trustable.

On a negative note however: the Productivist platform demands from manufacturers the implementation of a new piece of hardware which they have innovated, called a ‘smart device’.

These are to be installed and integrated on-site and within process strategy to (supposedly) maximize the benefits delivered through…

“real time monitoring, usage optimization, and scaling… [as well as] offer highly innovative applications, such as intellectual property protection.” source

Token

Customers can pay for their selection of goods and services on the platform by using their preference of traditional fiat currency payments. These are instantaneously converted into Productivist’s token-based currency, the ‘Productoken’ (or ‘PROD’).

PROD helps to ensure lightning fast transaction-speeds and minimizes expenses, such as extraneous service charges and currency conversion fees. It also eliminates middle-men, like traditional payment providers like Mastercard and Visa (along with their commissions and restrictions).

The Productoken’s liquidity will be ensured through adoption of the Ethereum-backed ERC-20 standard and can be received by any compatible wallet. The token itself will be based on Productivist’s own proprietary blockchain.

Token allocation, as reported in their white paper, will be…

  • 70%: Token Sale
  • 3%: Productivist Reserve (future promotions and initiatives)
  • 16%: Distributed to Productivist’s founders and employees
  • 5%: Referral and Bounty program

The usage plans for funds raised through token sales is broken up as follows…

  • 30%: IT Development
  • 20%: Marketing and Sales
  • 15%: Acquisitions & Partnerships
  • 5%: International Expansion
  • 10%: Administration and Operations
  • 5%: Development Fund
  • 5%: Legal
  • 5%: Bug Bounty Program

The team states that they are currently “negotiating with various exchanges to list PROD tokens on their platforms”.

Team

Almost all Productivist’s co-founders (who are currently dispersed between France and Dubai) share dual leadership capacities at a company called Freelabster, where they have worked together for some time and continue to do so.

Freelabster is a digital services company which was founded in 2016, and claims to be “one of the biggest 3d printing platforms on the web” (although I have not been able to find much in the way of third party feedback or recognition online to support these claims).

The company’s eponymous ‘Freelabster platform’ allows potential clients to connect with expert 3D printing professionals in their local area. This is a concept they wish to evolve upon through use of blockchain, distributed ledger technology.

Whilst the team members collectively possess a diverse portfolio of transferable leadership capabilities, almost all their industrial experience lies within the design and manufacturing services sector. This suggests that their greatest professional insight into blockchain technology comes from their hired guns.

Exceptions include ‘Smart Device Leader’ Jeremie Francois, who previously worked for almost two years as a researcher at an IoT / blockchain company called ChainOrchestra.

  • Patrick Musso (LI): Head of Economics Research at CNRS National Center for Scientific Research.
  • Benjamin Fuentes (LI): IBM Cloud Garage & Blockchain Advocate at IBM. Certified Hyperledger Fabric mentor.
  • Jean-Marie Le Sueur (LI): Owner of Asterwind CO Ltd and 30+ years’ experience in Manufacturing and Supply Chain.
  • Julien Gobert (LI): Payment specialist at Worldline, head of development, International Issuing Back Office.
  • Luca Benevolo (LI): CEO of Cryptense. Blockchain expert & contributor. ICO strategist.
  • Daniel Doppler (LI): President at Colossal Factory and experienced in artificial intelligence.

Verdict

Productivist is an innovative project packed with great ideas and a solid foundation. The team’s experience in the digital print and manufacturing services sector also proves that they understand the requirements of both clients and manufacturers.

Without any high level blockchain experts within the leadership team it is hard to visualize what Productivist can truly bring to the table here.

A result of this competency gap appears to be that many of the key features and innovations of Productivist are shared with those of ‘Freelabster’ with the benefits related to blockchain being rudimentary at best (particularly as they pride themselves on local rather than international services).

How fast this coin could grow as an investment is likely to be correlative with the trajectory of Freelabster, especially as the upcoming roadmap milestones include integrating Freelabster with the Productivist platform to form an initial use case.

Risks

  • The team possesses a distinct lack of blockchain expertise, in addition to a general lack of diversity in industrial experience, -3
  • The company prides itself on local services, however this has two flaws as it a) eliminates many of the benefits / reasons for incorporating cryptocurrency (e.g., elimination of cross-country fees and legal differences when constructing business contracts) and b) proves the niche market they are appealing to in a world where it is often cheaper to wait and import print service products from abroad. -3
  • The ‘smart device’ is interesting conceptually – however it adds more concerns than hope in my mind. How much will this high tech, cross-compatible piece of hardware cost? Who will be footing the bill? And how long would it take for the manufacturer, if they are purchasing the device, to achieve ROI especially regarding downtime to BAU (Business as usual)? -3
  • Beyond the implementation of rudimentary blockchain features such as smart contracts and distributed ledger technology, Productivist are not bringing anything else to the table – and can’t sufficiently justify ascribing themselves as ‘Industry 4.0’ .-1

Growth Potential

  • Freelabster will not only act as an anchor in terms of token value, but also a use case to advertise the platform’s adaptable SDK and API to third party organizations as a key area of their growth strategy. +3
  • 3D printing is noted to be a fast-growing industry and has exceeded the level of growth achieved by traditional manufacturing sectors for a considerable time now. Despite this growth, it still as a long way to catch up with its more conventional peers. +2
  • By utilizing open-source ‘Hyperledger’ infrastructure and tools to build their platform, Productivist are not only ensuring transparency and trust but also longevity due to the on-going support which Hyperledger is and will continue to receive. +2
  • Automatically converting to and from cryptocurrency, whilst taking and releasing funds as traditional fiat breaks down the barrier of technical understanding to manufacturers and clients who want to get involved but are unfamiliar with how cryptos work. Could also potentially enhance token liquidity. +2
  • Great looking team of advisors, but it is not enough to make up for the core teams’ lack of formal crypto knowledge. +1
  • The team’s collective expertise in 3D printing, manufacturing, and service platforms means that they may be sufficiently equipped to tackle the challenges ahead. +1

Disposition

It’s something of a passion project which doesn’t appear to have big intentions of scaling fast: I think it’s a trustable and reliable coin which will appreciate very slowly. Furthermore, whether the team can maintain a slow and steady growth but their capability for rapid scaling is yet to be proven.

As such, I see no reason to invest in a currency what is most likely to remain static in value for a very long time (if it even succeeds) when there are much more prosperous projects to investigate for now.

1/10

Investment Details

  • Token Type: Utility
  • Platform: Private Blockchain, ERC20 compliant
  • Symbol: PROD
  • Pre-ICO: Ends 17th May 2018 (28% + 15% – 5k Bonus)
  • Total Supply: 385,000,000 PROD tokens. Available in Pre-ICO & Main ICO (Hard Cap): 238 million PROD tokens (61,7%).
  • Public Crowd sale: Date Unannounced
  • Hard cap: $29,000,000
  • Soft cap: $5,000,000
  • Website + pre-ICO details: https://ico.productivist.com
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProducToken
  • Telegram: https://t.me/productivist

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: DeStream

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The internet has allowed for many new avenues of entertainment to be introduced. Online streaming has become a culture of it’s on in the last few years. Millions of people watch their favorite content creators on live streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Famous content creators are also jumping abroad the trend, this way directing portions of their already following to watch them live. There now are hundreds of online entertainers that have their activities with online streaming as their primary income. The content catalog for streaming is rapidly expanding to include more niches and with it, the number of viewers.

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Subsequently, there’s also an economy surrounding online streaming platforms. A part of the economy surrounding streaming is donations. That’s all thanks to a trend that was popularized by Twitch.tv, a website that initially started as a streaming website focused on the gaming community. Fans of live streamers of the platform would donate while the streamer was live for their message to be read out publicly. The more popular Twitch streamers get dozens of such donations during their live streams, ranging from $1 to as much as a viewer would see fit.

Online Streaming as an Industry

Twitch.tv was acquired by Amazon for a reported $970 in cash in 2014. In more recent years, bigger platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and newer social media platforms have been expanding their features for live streaming. Media organizations and industries like sports, TV streams and personal video apps are also jumping on the sector. A 2016 report found that online streaming was accounting for over two-thirds of all internet traffic. With live streaming now becoming a preferred way of communication between brands and customer, the sector should expect its already rapid growth to continue.

The State of Existing Solutions Available to Streamers

It’s worth emphasizing that due to the nuance of the sector, many things within it are changing rapidly.  Just last year, YouTube went through what was dubbed as the “adpocalypse”. Content creators in their platform, including the most established ones, had started videos on their channels demonetized. As this situation still unfolds, it’s now been understood that YouTube had started employing an AI algorithm that would stop creators from receiving ad revenue on their videos based on the content of their channels and videos. This year even, YouTube also made the requirements for earning through the platform much stricter than previously:

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On January 16, 2018, we announced new eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program. Once a channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers it will be reviewed to join the program.

Fan Contributions and the State of Solutions Providing a Platform for Donations as a Service

With ad revenue proving insufficient for full-time content creators to earn a living, many of them are turning to alternatives. Patreon and lately Flatt have been gaining more and more traction with content creators. Those solutions allow for fans to “subscribe” to their content creators for a monthly donation. Twitch was already employing such feature and more recently YouTube also introduces a subscription-based model for monetary support with YouTube Red, along with in-house donations called “Souper Chats”; a feature that pushes comments on live streams with a donation attached ahead of other comments, in a fashion similar how Twitch streamers accept donations.

The Problems

Many of those centralized solutions are faced with problems, and due to the young age of the sector, there hasn’t been much time for competition to develop. Patreon and Flattr take more than 10% away from each creator’s donations in fees and processing. YouTube’s and Twitch’s in-house solutions also charge hefty fees and more-over lack worldwide availability. Some creators have thought of turning to cryptocurrency, but the issue with this aside of adoption lies in the fact that a subscription-based model with crypto hasn’t proved hard to develop.

DeStream: A Decentralized Platform for the Streaming Industry

The many problems creators in the streaming industry are exactly what DeStream seeks to address with its platform. The project’s team aspires to build a feature-rich platform to receive donations on low commisions by utilizing  decentralization and blockchain technology, also creating a robust and censorship-proof platform in the process.

Token

According to the whitepaper of the project, the DST tokens will be able to provide users of the platform with several utilities. Potential use cases made note in the whitepaper are mentioned below:

  • Making a donations.
  • Paying the platform’s Commission for executing transactions.
  • Buying digital goods.
  • Getting a reward from the advertiser.
  • To purchase any goods in the affiliate shops.
  • Gaining access to big data analytics.
  • Paying for the services of the platform (marketing, making the streams more.attractive, etc.).
  • To perform internal P2P operations.

Smart contracts are set to become available to streamers and advertisers to help bring to life an autonomous platform for the DeStream economy. Commissions for streamers to cash out revenues would only be down t0 0.77%.
A total of 3,600,000,000 DST tokens will be allocated to the Token Sale with a base price of 0.006 USD per token. The private main closes on the 30th of May 2018 with discounts being as follows:

  • Pre-sale: up to 50% bonus, discussed individually.
  • 20% discount on the first two days.
  • 15% discount from the 3rd to the 5th day.
  • 10% discount from the 6th to the 15th day.
  • 5% discount from the 16th to the 21st day.
  • 0% discount from the 21st day to the end. of the crowdsale

The allocation of funds is set to be as follows:

  • Marketing: 41%
  • Operational expenses: 30%
  • Development support: 17%
  • Events/Trips: 12%

And the distribution of tokens:

  • Token sale: 60%
  • Fund: 20%
  • Team/Advisers: 19%
  • Bounty: 1%

Team

The team behind DeStream appears to have a great experience when it comes to working on new ventures.

Founding members include:

Anar Mekhtiev, the project’s founder and CEO has among other ventures founded his own IT company which the DeStream notes as “specializing in complex development”.
Tachat Igityan, co-founder and CTO for the project is, as written in the website, the “Founder of one of the largest business schools in digital marketing and Internet agency management (RIC).”
Alexey Khvostenko, Founder & CTO, appears to have many years of experience with software development.
Overall, the team appears to have experience in the sector of project development and a decent technical backing. Also notable, the team’s presence in live appearances on conferences that’s showcased in the section for events in the project’s website.

Verdict

DeStream brings on a concept for a much-needed solution. A decentralized platform for streamers to utilize could get backing from the ever-expanding platform creators of live content have. Live-streamers are always on the lookout for a better solution and known to adopt new alternatives as they come, being tech-savvy as they are.

Risks

  • Developing such a platform could be met with many shortfalls especially under the hood of new decentralized technologies. DeStream has not yet brought out a proof of concept application or MVP, and the roadmap of the platform only makes mention of an Alpha for the 3rd to 4th quarter of 2018. -2
  • The discounts and bonuses for the token run too deep, something that brings up questions for the pre-ICO stage. -1
  • The vision the team tries to bring forward gives a sense that the project might be trying to cover too many aspects instead of focusing on a few strong feats coupled with decentralization. The lack of a clear goal could prove problematic in later stages of the project’s development. -1

Growth Potential

  • Founders are very active on live events. +3
  • The team of the project has chosen the upcoming blockchain platform Stratis for the project. A move that showcases a willingness to adopt new technologies to better suit the project’s vision. +3
  • DeStream could utilize an already huge and growing industry for its growth by providing attractive services to creators. +2
  • Members of the team appear to have great experience with project development and technology. +2

Disposition

The project has great potential and the team appears to have a clear understanding of how they could tap into the streaming industry. However, the lack of an MVP coupled with the fact that the project’s vision might be too ambitious brings in a higher risk factor. Our rating is a 6 out of 10.

Investment Details

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: Smart Valor

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The Consensus Conference just came to an end. And although it didn’t quite produce the instant moon shots expected around the market, it did produce a smorgasbord of tasty new projects. Perhaps the most succulent one is a decentralized, community-based marketplace for tokenized alternative investments called Smart Valor.

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The VALOR Platform is blockchain agnostic and designed to evolve and expand over time. Most of the components will be open source with outside contributors able to build apps on top of it. Here are the current components that will be available on the platform.

  • App marketplace: Third party providers or any contributor for that matter can build apps on top of Valor. The users can then purchase or license these apps via the marketplace
  • ICO platform with tokenization engine: Basicallyn this is an incubator. VALOR helps guide new projects through the token sale process, making sure the model/smart contract is consistent with the asset.
  • Task marketplace: Anyone with talent will be rewarded for coding, research, performance predictions and more. According to the company, “Positive reviews from the community and accurate performance predictions will build your publicly verifiable reputation and increase your earning potential.”
  • Governance and voting engine: The community will govern most of VALOR by voting on decisions, contributing to polls, introducing petitions, etc.
  • Rewards and bounty programs: Stakeholders earn rewards by engagement in opinion polls, being involved in governance matters, giving input on new assets being considered for listing, providing liquidity and much more things that haven’t been added yet.
  • Decentralized auctioning marketplace: Smart contract enabled auction marketplace that helps price discovery and supports liquidity in low volume traded assets, for both investors and asset issuers.
  • Licensed exchange: Trade asset and crypto tokens while following all regulations.
  • Authentication and identity: Authenticate and manage user IDs with multi-factor authentication implemented.
  • Secure custody for crypto assets: Valor accounts or wallets allow you to hold your tokenized assets safe and securely.
  • Portfolio management: User-friendly dashboard, desktop and mobile. Integrates risk analysis and performance prediction apps from the app marketplace.

What can be found in the VALOR marketplace? Tokenized alternative investments.

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The Valor Platform fundamentals include:

  • Blockchain based securitization: Representation of assets through cryptographic tokens enabling efficient, instant and secure transfer of value.
  • Focus on alternative investments: Will Focus on inaccessible and mostly illiquid assets – as well as safe-haven investments.
  • Community-driven value creation: A decentralized organization with meritocracy-based rewards for individual contributors.
  • Fully compliant and licensed platform: The VALOR Platform is in the process of undergoing regulatory approval to act as a fully licensed marketplace for alternative investments.

Token

This project is still in its private pre-sale phase. They have yet to release a whitepaper, and there is very little info on the token.  Here’s the information available as of May 17, most of it comes from this livestream of Olga speaking to a small crowd on May 8th: https://smartvalor.com/ama-livestream/

The Valor token will serve several functions.

  1. Contribute to value creation: Earn rewards through investing or by contributing your expertize to the Valor Community, with coding, research, market predictions etc.
  2. Build your reputation: Publicly verifiable reputations will increase earning potential. Everyone is equal at the start, and will earn value as they give value. Or the opposite.
  3. Voting rights: Allows holders to vote on strategic decisions.
  4. Special Privilege: Holding VALOR grant exclusive rights.
  5. Staking: Asset issuers and service providers must stake a certain amount of token as collateral. In case of misconduct or non-compliance, the tokens are forfeited.

The allocation is as follows:

  • 45% Distributed to token purchasers
  • 19% Founders, future employees, advisers
  • 5% Liquidity buffer
  • 5% Bounties and network growth
  • 26%Retained for future development (locked up 3 years)

Team

Team Smart Valor is already 13 people deep, have offices in Paris and Munich, and are headquartered in Zug, where they are hosted by the Thomson Reuters Incubator. Zug is turning into one of the leading Cities for start-ups. Part of that popularity is due to Founder Olga Felldmeiers working with Swiss Officials to give blockchain innovators the freedom to do their thing.

(At Galaxy with the legend himself, Mike Novogratz 5/16)

Oliver Feldmeier: COO – an expert in digital transformation, Founder and Managing Director of Verto Advisory (Switzerland) and Technology Advisor at Capgemini (Germany).

Julien Bringer: Chief Security and Cryptography Expert. Holds over 50 patents and has authored over 80 publications on security and cryptography. Headed the cryptography and security research team for six years for IDEMIA.

Thomas Felber: CIO, Co-founder and Head of IT at BeeZero. Previously Co-founder and Managing Partner of software development and IT consultancy Tekaris (Germany).

There are six impressive adviswrs including the  co-founder at swytch.io, the founder of PAY.ON, and an ex-board member of the Ethereum Foundation.

Verdict

Traditionally, only whales were able to get into the trillions of dollar alternative investments industry. But now that we can tokenize and make liquid any and all assets, the little guy finally gets to buy and sell tiny fractions of everything 24/7,  with instant transaction executions, instead of waiting a couple days like on the stock markets.

Risks

  • They want the community to pretty much run the platform in the future. With so many different projects out already, it could prove to be hard finding enough enthusiastic community members. -1
  • There have already been quite a few asset tokenization project failures already. -1
  • Although it sounds like this team is prepared for all the regulatory hurdles coming their way, it still won’t be easy. –2
  • The private pre-sale is way too private, and loose. They have yet to put out the whitepaper, yet have been collecting funds for at least three weeks. -1

Growth Potential

  • Hosted by the Thomson Reuters Incubator, the project seems powerful. A lot of thomson Reuters Incubator projects present at major conferences, and connect with each other. +2
  • They are listed as one of Europe’s 10 Most Exciting Technology SMEs for 2018 by Forbes. +2
  •  SmartValor will have an incubator of their own for new projects to be created.+3.5
  • Potential partnerships out the wazoo. +2
  • Founder, Olga Feldmeier has “it”. And people see it, she speaks at all the major conferences, and constantly helps convince the higher-ups to allow Switzerland to be one of the leaders in blockchain innovation. +3

Disposition

VALOR hits on all cylinders.

Although there will be many similar protocols to compete with,  Valor separates itself by being blockchain agnostic and focusing their energy specifically on alternative investments and compliance with regulators.   7.5/10.

Investment Details

  • Platform: erc20, but will be blockchain agnostic
  • Hard Cap: $35 million
  • Total Supply:  100 million
  • Tokens for sale: 45 million
  • Price: $1 before bonus
  • Private Pre-sale: 50% bonus Sign up https://smartvalor.com/pre-sale/
  • Crowd sale: TBA (will have lower bonus tears)
  • Whitelist: https://smartvalor.com/pre-sale/
  • First AMA Video: 1 hour long . https://smartvalor.com/ama-livestream/

Featured jmage 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 17 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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ICO Analysis: Kleros

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Thousands of decentralized applications in tomorrows economy will rely on smart contracts to settle disputes by arbitration. The problem right now is smart contracts are incapable of making subjective judgments or factoring information from outside of the blockchain. Existing dispute resolution technologies are slow, expensive and unreliable. For DApps to gain mass adoption, they need a fast, transparent, reliable and decentralized dispute resolution mechanism that renders ultimate judgment over the enforceability of smart contracts. Enter Kleros.

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Kleros is a decision protocol layer Dapp built on top of Ethereum. It works as a third party to arbitrate disputes, relying on game theoretic incentives to have jurors rule cases correctly in a fast, cheap, reliable and decentralized way. As the economy becomes more globalized and digitized, Kleros will become a key piece of legal infrastructure with a large number of applications providing arbitration for virtually everything

Arbitration will happen on apps built on top of Kleros protocol, or in a service provider that will access the Kleros protocol through an API. As the ecosystem becomes more mature, some applications will specialize in finance, others in e-sports, others in sharing economy, others in energy disputes and lots of other use cases.

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Below are some project vitals:

  • Escrow: It can be used to have the smart contract reimburse the buyer or pay the seller.
  • Insurance: If an insurer doesn’t validate an event, a dispute resolution process would ensue.
  • Crowdfunding: Backers can send their money to Kleros instead and have Kleros judges determine when predetermined milestones are met before they release some of the funds.
  • Oracles: Kleros can be used as an oracle to bride the gap between the outside world and blockchain.

The following image shows an example of what a future Kleros ecosystem might look like. The imaginary companies FairInsurance will specialize in insurance applications, Enerjustice in energy disputes, and TravelSafe in travel disputes.

The Kleros Ecosystem will serve many different interests, including:

  • Parties: The people who may have disputes to solve, will reduce their counterparty risk.
  • Jurors: skilled evidence evaluating observers will earn arbitration fees for their work.
  • Platforms: According to the team, platforms “will use Kleros because it solves arbitration problems better than the alternatives”
  • Entrepreneurs: DApps in e-commerce, freelancing, sharing economy, crowdfunding, etc. will want to use Kleros because it provides fast, affordable and transparent arbitration.
  • Developers: They will contribute to the development of Kleros’ open source technology.

Token

PNK is a utility token. It’s required to protect the system against Sybil attack and to provide jurors an incentive to adjudicate disputes honestly.

In order for a juror in the Kleros ecosystem to be elected to settle a specific dispute, he must deposit PNK. The more PNK deposited, the higher the likelihood of being selected. Jurors who don’t deposit any tokens cannot be selected to settle disputes.

All jurors ruling a case collect fees paid by the arbitrating parties(in ETH). Token redistribution creates the incentive for jurors to vote honestly by using a Schelling Point.
To learn more about the token economics, check out page 4 of the whitepaper.

In the first token distribution event, 16% of tokens will be sold to the public. Buyers who purchase tokens early will receive a 20% bonus. The bonus decreases to 10% at the beginning of the withdrawal lock period and then goes to 0% by the end of the crowd sale.

The token distribution is as follows:

  • 18% Team Members
  • 16% round 1 of token sale.
  • 4% Airdrop (already occurred)
  • 50%Subsequent Rounds and Juror Incentive Programs
  • 12% Kleros Cooperative Development Reserve

Another 50% will be sold in the future as the team reaches milestones in project development and for juror incentive programs.

Founders and team members commit to work on the project for three years (from the time they started) or would have to reimburse a proportional part of their allocation (or everything if they leave before one year).

Allocation of funds is listed below:

  • 45% Product
  • 25% R&D:
  • 10%Ecosystem:
  • 10.00%Communications:
  • 5%Operations:
  • 5% Legal.

Kleros will be running a unique style of token sale, proposed by Vitalik Buterin, called IICO (Interactive Coin Offering). Learn all about it here.

“IICOs are designed to be more egalitarian than conventional public sales. One of the guiding principles of the IICO model is that it eliminates favoritism and deep discounting. We have declined private sale offers, electing to proceed directly to a public sale in which everyone has an equal opportunity to acquire tokens at the same rate. Instead of making one large sale in one round as most projects, the sale will be done through multiple rounds as we reach critical product milestones.”

The sale breakdown is listed below:

  • Stage 1. May 15 to June 15. 20% bonus and the contributor can manually withdraw the contribution without penalty.
  • Stage 2. June 15 to July 1. The bonus starts to decrease linearly and the contributor can manually withdraw the contribution WITH penalty.
  • Stage 3. July 1 to July 15. The contributor cannot withdraw the contribution manually. Only automatic withdrawals.

Team

The team from France looks young and inexperienced on paper, but in reality, seems highly capable and well connected. They have been to pretty much every major Ethereum conference over the last year, including Consensus in New York this week. Look at all their activity here.

Federico Ast:  Co-Founder. He is very active on medium. I can tell he’s the real deal. Ph.D. Entrepreneur. Blockchain & Law. Singularity University GSP16. TEDx Speaker. Coursera Teacher on Blockchain, etc.

Clement Lesaege: Co-Founder COO . A young man who interned at three different companies from 2012-2016 then was a smart contract security freelancer for one year.

Nicolas Wagner: Co-Founder. A freelance developer since 2013 and another young guy. He was recently a developer for Dether.IO.

Three advisers, including Mitchell Loureiro, who is the Head of Marketing at SingularNet, Steemit, Byteball and Ardor.

Partners include Dether, Ink Protocol and a Thomson Reuters Incubator.

The Telegram has 7,000 members. Twitter has 6,000 followers, but only single-digit likes and retweets.

Verdict

Kleros is a very much needed protocol that connects users who need to solve disputes with jurors who have the skills to fairly settle them. There are many more technical details in this project that haven’t been touched on. Its clear from their explanations that they know what they are talking about, have clear goals, and a manageable roadmap. The team’s inexperience does not seem like a problem, because this project isn’t trying to do too much.

“As the ecosystem matures, Kleros will prove that it can deliver fast, affordable and transparent justice in a growing number of use cases. More customers bring more entrepreneurs, more jurors, more developers and an increasing number of use cases. The community will build the ecosystem on top of an open protocol. And this is how decentralized justice takes over the world” (Federico Ast CEO)

Risks

  • It’s so early in the development of DApps that it makes it hard to visualize enough use cases to make this ecosystem run. -1
  • Lots of inflation – only 16% of the tokens will go to funders. The other tokens will be sold either in the future as the team achieves critical milestones or as an additional incentive for early jurors in the platform.-1 
  • There is no hard cap, as IICO is a market-based method. This means that the revenue from the token sale will be determined by market forces. -1

Growth Potential

  • The CEO spoke at Consensus, which is a big deal. +2
  • They have an MVP you can learn more about here.  And here’s a video of it. +2
  • Early partnerships with top companies, including InkProtocol and Dether and Thomson Reuters Incubator.+2
  • Kleros could easily be integrated with existing platforms (decentralized or not) with users being taken to a dispute resolution screen where they may never know who was arbitrating their dispute. +2
  • One of the Telegram devs stated: “Actually, even Vitalik knows of Kleros quite well. He and our Cryptoeconomics researcher William had a very interesting discussion on  http://ethresear.ch/about Kleros and some of the functions of the protocol.” The link is private, so we cant confirm if this is true, but it seems true. +1

Disposition

Although this isn’t the sexiest of projects, it is one of the most important. It provides a court system for DApp users when smart contracts are incapable of settling disputes, which will be often. No better solution has been presented.  6/10 is our rating.

Investment Details

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

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4.1 stars on average, based on 17 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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