ICO Analysis: Productivist

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.

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.

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.