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ICO Analysis: RedPen

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RedPen is a breakthrough social news and storytelling platform powered by blockchain and artificial intelligence. It combines news and public opinion into one experience to showcase what the internet thinks, feels and says about stories. The RedPen platform transforms online communities and information consumption while highlighting author reputation.

The company aims to build and empower the global, connected community by making the world’s information collectively understood. Like taking a red pen to the internet, RedPen will allow users to view and contribute to the most transparent, informative and contextual rendition of content and news. RedPen allows you to follow your favorite interests and identify who is talking about a given topic. The platform also intends to highlight the various viewpoints, biases, and how the crowd is feeling.

RedPen’s vision for consuming, sharing, following and discussing content can be organized into impact categories:

Time

  • Provides more complete information, faster
  • Reduces time discovering your favorite content
  • Re-invests time to gain more knowledge about additional topics

Accountability

  • Clearly displays source attribution
  • Stores and captures opinion
  • Ensures transparency and privacy

Decentralized Control

  • Captures crowdsourced viewpoints
  • Processes distributed observations
  • Allows people to discover and learn at their own pace and depth

Context

  • Summarizes essential story elements
  • Provides rich access to less obvious information
  • Presents a broad public opinion
  • Illuminates and embrace biases

Awareness

  • Feeds people’s curiosity and passion for knowledge
  • Visualizes topics you care about, all in one place
  • Provides a more comprehensive understanding
  • Compares and contrasts across diverse sources

The RedPen system aggregates, analyzes and synthesizes diverse information being written and discussed all in one place—called RedPen Stories. Through a simple user experience, RedPen will identify relevant context, summarize public opinion and highlight author perspectives. Additionally, RedPen Stories intends to encourage people to share, connect and engage in meaningful conversations with their friends and personal networks to cultivate community and storytelling. By leveraging artificial intelligence, creative uses of blockchain, and advanced analytics, RedPen provides individuals with more complete information, faster. Through game-changing formats, dynamic content will be delivered with the necessary and appropriate context to maximize understanding and community. This ensures that the full, verifiable life of information is always available for the world to see.

Token

The RedPen token (RPN) is an ERC20 compatible protocol that will be used to acquire a RedPen Membership. Members will then be able to use RPN to purchase products and services on RedPen such as:

  • Request new content sources and authors to be added to RedPen
  • Eliminate ads
  • Renew RedPen Memberships and receive discounts

RedPen Membership includes the premium benefit of access to RedPen Reputations. Additional benefits include product opinion polls, official beta testing, access to early releases of new features, front of the line resume submissions and RPN token badges. RedPen says it is committed to rewarding users, creators, publishers and innovators in the media space. Five percent of RPN tokens will be distributed as incentives to reward socially responsible users, content creators and partners.

The RedPen ICO is following a unique format with three tiers (private pre-sale, Sale 1 and Sale 2). The private pre-sale is scheduled to begin in Q2 2018 followed by Sale 1 scheduled to begin in Q3 2018 with a price of 1 RPN equivalent to $0.82 USD. Sale 2 is scheduled to occur up to two years later.

The token distribution is as follows:

  • 60% Token Sales (Presale 20% / Sale 1 22% / Sale 2 18%)
  • 15% Team
  • 10% Advisers/Partners
  • 10% Company
  • 5%  Rewards

Team

The RedPen team is comprised of innovators, creators, marketers and engineers with deep technical expertise in data science, machine learning, data mining, natural language processing, mobile development, large-scale distributed platforms and emerging blockchain skills. A few members of the executive team are:

  • Ryan Lewis – Chief Creative Officer and Founder at RedPen. World-renowned producer, musician, music video director, entrepreneur. Four-time Grammy award winner.
  • RJ Smith – CEO, CTO, and Founder at RedPen. Former Technical Director for the U.S. Intelligence Community. Former Engineer for Goodyear. Former Computer Specialist at The White House
  • Peter Grossman – Chief Commercial Officer at RedPen. Former President for Arnold Worldwide. Former EVP, Director of Client Service for JWT. Former Board Member and CEO for QWiPS.

RedPen lists a total of eight advisers with a strong background in blockchain, government and intelligence and online publishing.

Verdict

RedPen has the potential to be an indispensable tool for people who want to understand the complete story about the things they care about and join in the conversations around them. In the current ICO market with multiple blockchain projects all vying for the fastest TPS, the concept behind this ICO is a welcome change. Investors looking for potentially profitable projects under the radar should keep an eye on RedPen.

Risks

  • A lockup or vesting period has become the norm for team tokens, which gives investors the assurance of long-term commitment. There currently isn’t a lockup period or vesting schedule listed for the RedPen team. -1.25
  • Many ICO investors look for projects with starting low market caps to increase the opportunity of high ROI. A $45 million fundraising goal is slightly on the high side for current ICOs. -1.75

Growth Potential

  • An ICO with an MVP is ahead of the game and appeals to investors. In 2017 RedPen developed an initial mobile application and software to detect story similarity and summarize language comparison. By Q4 2018, RedPen will release a mobile app focused on crypto and blockchain topics. +3.5
  • Producer Ryan Lewis and singer/rapper Macklemore are deeply involved in the creation of RedPen and are not simply lending their names as an endorsement. However, having famous people involved will definitely be a major marketing bonus that will attract more attention to the project. +3.5
  • There are all-stars on the advisory team in the areas of business, entertainment and blockchain marketing, which could sway investors to come aboard. +3

Disposition

With their unique and practical concept, star power and all-star advisers, RedPen could be one of the sleepers of 2018 with excellent potential. The ICO receives a 7 out of 10 rating.

Investment Details

  • Symbol: RPN
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Price: 1 RPN = $0.82 USD
  • Total Supply: 250,000,000 RPN
  • Payments Accepted: ETH, BTC, FIAT
  • Barred From Participation: USA, Canada, Cayman Islands, South Korea, China
  • Fundraising Goal: $45,000,000 USD

For more information regarding Redpen:

Website: https://www.meetredpen.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/meetredpen

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: SmartContainers

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Based out of Switzerland, Smart Containers aims to combine Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and blockchain to rent out airfreight containers used for food and medicine transportation that also track temperatures on the blockchain throughout the shipping process.

Maintaining the right temperature for things like food and medicine is crucial to protect against degradation of product. The integrated IoT sensors will also allow the smart containers to know who’s renting them, when the contract ends, and when to invoice a customer.

Smart Containers already is #4 in the business to business (b2b) global pharmaceutical transportation market with its product, SkyCell. The company has plans to introduce SkyCell in the consumer market as well, which is much bigger than the b2b market.

The company claims to have close to 100 patents, be 75% more reliable than the current market leader thanks to a less than 0.1% temperature deviation, and have the largest amount of blockchain-based IoT sensors in all of airfreight.

By building LOGI CHAIN, Smart Containers is building a mostly free, open platform for logistics companies and users, such as airlines, customs brokers, sea freight companies, and so on. LOGI CHAIN will provide additional services like payment and insurance through its partners, all paid for using LOGI. The smart containers will be completely autonomous, allowing for truly paperless logistics. Billing will be automated throughout the supply chain and through the use of cryptocurrency, transaction fees will be significantly lower.

Smart Containers has also entered the food transportation market recently through FoodGuardians, which is launching in Europe in 2018.

Token

SMARC tokens will be used for profit sharing in the proceeds of SkyCell and FoodGuardians. 20% of Smart Containers’ future dividends as well as potential exit profits from its subdivisions like SkyCell will be paid out to SMARC holders proportionally in ETH according to the number of SMARC tokens in circulation.

LOGI is the utility token for LOGI CHAIN and will be used by parties in the ecosystem to pay for transactions.

There is a total of 150 million SMARC and 100 million LOGI.

Smart Containers is selling two tokens to raise a total of $40m.

120 million SMARC / 150 million SMARC will be offered in the ICO – pre-sale, private, and public phases ($36m). The remaining 30 million will be used to cover ICO costs and align interests of the management team.

Pre-sale was at the end of May and open to invited individuals and organizations. 49.3m tokens (41% of ICO amount and valued at $16m) were sold in the private, invitation-only pre-sale. Participants in the pre-sale bought SMARC at a 25% discount while those in the crowd sale can buy tokens at a 15%, 10%, and 5% discount (first third, second third, and final third of participants respectively). 12.8m tokens (10.66% of ICO amount valued at $5m) are available during the public token sale.

57.9m tokens, or nearly half the tokens for sale valued at $15m/$36m total, are offered in a private sale to institutional investors (red flag).

20 million  / 100 million LOGI will be sold in the token sale – pre-sale, private, and public ($4m). The rest of the tokens will be used for the LOGI CHAIN Foundation (50m tokens), Smart Containers Group foundation capital and ecosystem initialization (25m tokens), and bounty program and incentivizing of board members (5m tokens).

As with SMARC, LOGI pre-sale was held at the end of May and open to select individuals and organizations. Pre-sale saw 5.85m tokens (29.3% of tokens for sale or $1.25m) for sale to invited investors. Participants in the pre-sale bought LOGI at a 25% discount and those in the public sale can buy 3.9m tokens (19.5% of float) worth $1m at a 15%, 10%, and 5% discount (first third, second third, and final third of participants respectively).

10.25m tokens, more than half the float of LOGI or $1.75m/$4m , is for private, institutional investors (another red flag).

Proceeds from the sales of both tokens follow a 3-year allocation plan.

For the funds raised through the sale of SMARC, $15m will be used to scale Skycell, $13m for the launch and scaling of FoodGuardians, $3.6m for reserves and team compensation, $2.4m for marketing, and $2m for Smart Containers IT.

LOGI sale proceeds will be used as follows.

  • $1.55m initial IT development costs
  • $1.5m setting up and running the LOGI CHAIN Foundation
  • $0.75m marketing
  • $0.2m finances and fees

As of press time, $12.82m/$21m in SMARC tokens have been sold while $1m/$3.25m in LOGI tokens have been sold.

All investors have to pass AML and KYC verification.

Team

CEO and Co-Founder Richard Ettl – worked at Bobst Group, a Switzerland-based, global leader in providing equipment and services to label and packaging manufacturers, before founding Smart Containers with Nico Ros

CTO and Co-Founder Nico Ros – as managing partner at ZPF, a Swiss engineering company, he worked with famous architects Herzog & DeMeuron to construct the most expensive buildings in Switzerland before founding Smart Containers with Richard Ettl

On the adviser side, two names stand out.

Oliver Bussmann, former CIO of UBS and SAP as well as President of the Crypto Valley Association (association that promotes development of Zug, Switzerland as a blockchain and crypto hub – Crypto Valley Association partners include KPMG and ConsenSys)

Michael Guzik, ICO Lead for Lykke and former Head of Blockchain & Manager of Digital Strategy at PwC

Verdict

Though Smart Containers is a proven company, the need for an ICO is vague, especially for its utility token LOGI, and LOGI CHAIN is yet to be developed. These factors along with other risks (discussed below) make this an investment that requires proper due diligence.

Risks

  1. SMARC is definitely a security token since it grants token holders the right to dividends from Smart Containers’ profits. In its ICO FAQ, the company says that SMARC are not categorized as security tokens under Swiss law, but investors should be careful. -1
  2. LOGI CHAIN yet to be built. -0.5
  3. Very small amount of tokens available to public compared to private and pre-sale investors. -0.4
  4. Information on lock-ups or vesting vague at best (see “What is the vesting schedule for Team and Advisors token?”), -0.4
  5. No max contribution information. This along with heavy token distribution to pre-sale and private investors is worrying. -0.4
  6. Smart Containers whitepaper light on details about LOGI token utility and focuses a lot on the company’s accomplishments thus far, making it seem like a push for non-equity fundraising via the sale of SMARC tokens in an ICO. -0.2
  7. Competitors like VeChain, Walton, WaBi, etc. working on blockchain integration into supply chain scenarios and in the case of VeChain, have much more significant presence and partnerships (e.g. being incubated by PwC) already established. -0.2

Growth Potential

  1. Through SkyCell, the company is well-established, operational, and has revenues. In the Smart Containers whitepaper, the team claims customers like Roche, Takada, and Novartis. +3.5
  2. Skycell is partnered with large carriers like Cargolux and Emirates, already giving it an in in the industry. +2
  3. Even if the ICO is mostly for fundraising via SMARC tokens, if the tokens really give token holders the right to dividends, investing in them could prove profitable if the company does well, which is very possible considering its past and present performance as one of the leaders in the container industry. +3.5

Disposition

  • Although the need for LOGI utility token isn’t clear, and the LOGI CHAIN blockchain solution has yet to be developed, investing in SMARC tokens could prove profitable for investors that want to benefit from the dividends of a leading container providing company.
  • Smart Containers receives a 5.9/10.

Investment Details

  • Type: Security, Utility
  • Symbol: SMARC, LOGI
  • Platform: Unspecified
  • Crowdsale: Now until June 30th, 6PM CEST
  • Minimum Investment: $500 USD
  • Price: 1 SMARC = $0.432, 1 LOGI = $0.285
  • Hard Cap: $40m ($36m SMARC, $4m LOGI)
  • Payments Accepted: BTC, ETH, fiat currencies via credit card including USD, EUR, and CHF
  • Restricted from Participating: USA and countries facing embargoes and sanctions from the US like Burma, Cuba, Côte d‘Ivoire, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

More Information:

Smart Containers Website

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: Ocean Protocol

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Data has come into the public spotlight recently with scandals like Cambridge Analytica making everyone more aware of the implications of data and just how valuable it can be, both for consumers and corporations.

However, it might surprise you to learn that most data in the world goes unused.

According to Ocean Protocol’s whitepaper, only 1% of the world’s data gets analyzed. Moreover, as society continues to go digital, more and more data is produced every year.

In 2010, the world produced 1 zettabyte (ZB) of data. That’s 1,000,000,000,000 gigabytes (GB) of data. To put that into perspective, a standard iPhone X comes with 64 GB of data. 1,000,000,000,000 / 64 = 15.6 billion iPhone Xes worth of data.

That figure might seem like a lot until you consider the fact that in 2016, the world produced 16 ZB of data and will produce more than 160 ZB by 2025.

So if only 1% of the world’s data is being used, that’s a lot of data that sits dormant.

Some accused Cambridge Analytica of using data from Facebook to influence elections. If that’s true, data can be used for truly significant purposes, good or bad.

The Emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

While data in itself is a huge industry, AI is also an emerging industry that is set to impact every part of the economy in the coming years.

By 2025, revenue from AI will hit $60 billion.

However, AI needs data to be accurate. And given that most of the world’s data is unutilized, that means AI is being held back from its potential. Its only companies with enormous caches of data like Facebook and Google that are really pushing ahead in the AI industry.

Why Data is Underutilized

Data is being underutilized because sharing data amongst parties currently suffers from a number of challenges:

1) Centralized hosting

2) Cost (transaction fees, commissions, etc).

3) Lack of flexible pricing mechanisms (E.g. for building apps, model training)

4) Lack of audit trial for compliance purposes

5) No control over data usage once data supplied by providers

6) Lack of frameworks for consent, trust, and regulation

7) No way to track data usage for royalty pricing models

Ocean Protocol: A Decentralized Data Exchange for AI

Ocean Protocol wants to enable the exchange and sharing of data that could be put to use for AI development and other purposes.

The market for data will be two-sided between Data Providers and Data Consumers.

Data Providers earn Ocean Tokens (OCN) by providing data while Data Consumers pay OCN to providers for valuable data.

Providers can set data pricing via Ocean Protocol to prevent problems like vendor lock-in, choose from various pricing models, control who buys their data, see who has worked with their data, set different usage models (one-time, limited time, continuous), and sell their data without revealing it.

On the other hand, consumers benefit from transparent pricing, clear usage guidelines, previews of data before purchasing, choice amongst different data providers, data quality and reputation reviews, and tracking of data that has been bought and used.

OCN can also be earned by curating data, becoming a data marketplace that interfaces with Ocean Protocol, and providing network services like validation, verification, and storing the network’s blockchain.

Token

OCN’s total supply is fixed at 1.41 billion OCN.

Network service providers like validators earn OCN, which has a block time in seconds.

The token’s supply will be allocated as follows.

45% Network Keepers (block rewards for storing the blockchain and validating transactions) and Data Providers

25% Token Purchasers – goes towards funding Ocean Protocol’s development, partnerships, nurturing key customers as well as providing liquidity. 10% of this amount will be held in reserve for a possible secondary token sale.

20% Founding Team – used for core protocol, development of network and software, business development, community support, marketing.

10% Ocean Protocol Foundation – used for building community and ecosystem using bounties, grants, partnerships, and rewards.

50% of block-rewarded tokens will be released in 10 years.

Founding team and Ocean Protocol Foundation tokens will be released in six equal portions over the course of five years, beginning in the end of 2017.

Twenty-five of the total OCN supply will be sold to investors in four phases:

1) Seed

2) Pre-Launch

3) Network Launch Distribution

4) Secondary Token Exchange (potential)

Fifteen percent will be distributed during Seed, Pre-Launch, and Network Launch Distribution phases.

There will be another 10% potentially distributed during a secondary exchange if additional liquidity is needed or additional funds are needed to build the Ocean Protocol community. Otherwise, these tokens will be burned, distributed proportionally to OCN holders, or sold by Ocean Protocol on exchanges on a publicly announced schedule.

All purchasers of OCN have to be whitelisted.

Team

The Ocean Protocol team brings a lot of experience to the table.

CEO Bruce Pon spent years at top companies like Accenture and Daimler AG as a consultant and project manager before founding his own consulting, data, and blockchain-based companies.

Overall, the team has deep experience in big data, blockchain, AI, and data exchange and has done things like calculate gravity assisted trajectories between Earth and Mars, built a dozen global banks, managed operating budgets over $30 million, and more.

Companies, institutions, and organizations that the team is or has worked with include MIT, Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Ernst & Young, and more.

Pon and other core members founded BigchainDB in 2014. BigchainDB will develop Ocean Protocol and has already created things like ascribe.io, a way for creators to track intellectual property on the blockchain, WhereOnThe.Net, which tracks the spread of creative works, IDPB, the Interplanetary Database or a shared global database, ImageMatch, machine learning-based image recognition, and more. Clearly, it isn’t their first rodeo when it comes to things like blockchain, data, and AI.

DEX Pte. Ltd. is also working on developing Ocean Protocol and was a lead partner for Data City : Data Nation, a partnership amongst Singaporean and British corporations and governments to work on data exchange by providing common regulatory and governance frameworks.

Singapore, which has shown its hostility towards crypto at times, is the lead government partner for Ocean Protocol. Singapore wants to become the hub for data sharing and is working with Ocean Protocol to achieve that goal.

Verdict

Though Ocean Protocol has a promising premise and team with lots of relevant experience, lack of a working product and significant partnerships makes investing less desirable.

Risks

  • No working product (-2)
  • Many other competitors like Enigma, Datum, Dentcoin, Streamr, and more, some of which have working products. (-1)
  • No other significant advisors or partnerships besides Singaporean government that could boost the spread of Ocean Protocol. (-1)
  • No hard cap announced for Network Launch Distribution round. (-1)

Growth Potential

  • Data sharing and AI are huge growth industries. (+3)
  • Team has lots of experience, especially in relevant fields, such as blockchain, data exchange, and AI. (+3)
  • While competitors may be focusing on specific use cases, such as “data marketplace for advertising data”, Ocean Protocol is more of a platform, and platforms, e.g. Ethereum and NEO, have done well in the past. (+2)
  • Pre-Launch round had an equitable token distribution with a max contribution of 1250 euros – helps prevent dumping by whales. (+2)
  • Long vesting periods to prevent dumping. (+1)

Disposition

It might be better to pick up some OCN post-ICO or if and when the project is more proven in terms of a working product and partnerships. Moreover, Network Launch Distribution details have yet to be released, which could have an influence on investment potential as well.

Ocean Protocol receives a 5/10.

Investment Details

  • Type: Native Token
  • Symbol: OCN
  • Platform: Ocean Protocol
  • Crowdsale: Network Launch Distribution date unspecified
  • Minimum Investment: Unspecified (Network Launch Distribution)
  • Price: Unspecified (Network Launch Distribution)
  • Hard Cap: 25m euros (Seed and Pre-Launch), Unspecified (Network Launch Distribution)
  • Payments Accepted: ETH
  • Restricted from Participating: not specified but their Ocean Tokenomics article makes it seem like it would be open to even un-accredited US and Canadian investors (see “Lock-Up”)

For more information:

Ocean Protocol Website

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: Harmony

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As of today, there are no blockchains in existence that can scale to the needs of 5G technology and the internet of things. According to this Huawei article, to meet the requirements of 5G you need 100 billion connections, 1 ms latency and 10 Gbps throughput.

New startup, Harmony Protocol, aims to be the first to meet these requirements by redesigning the public chain with top performance and physical locations, which will scale blockchain to 10 million transactions/second and 100-millisecond latency, and at no more than a 0.1% fee.

Let’s pause here. A lot of people are about to skim over the rest of this analysis, thinking it’s just another ICO promising the world. And to be honest, few of us are technical enough to know if what Harmony promises is doable. What I can tell you after looking deep into this company is these guys are “THE REAL DEAL HOLYFIELD”, and this project has the “potential” to be a top 5 token for all of crypto.

Harmony will try to bring 1,000x speed and capacity to the next generation of the decentralized economy, enabling open marketplaces for 10 billion people and 100 billion devices. They plan to do this by proposing linear scaling over network nodes and machine cores using OmniLedger and Rust. These innovations together will bring a 1,000x breakthrough to the scaling transaction rate.

Omniledger Byzantine protocol is a secure, scale-out, decentralized ledger via sharding. It currently does 13,000 tx/sec and 1.5 sec latency with 1,800 hosts.  The protocol has the following principles and optimizations for scaling.

  • Atomic shard commit: Each shard uses O(log n) multicast tree-based BFT to unanimously accept cross-shard transactions with O(1)-size coordination.
  • Gradual transition Sybil resistant identities to maintain liveness when swapping. A sliding window from a fixed permutation to ensure ⅔ honest majority.
  • Pruning checkpoints State blocks for storage and bootstrapping against Byzantine DoS. Multi-hop, collectively signed back -pointers, 100x space savings.
  • Parallelizing blocks Acyclic graphs to capture transaction dependencies transitively. This divides each shard into groups to replace faulty nodes with a view-change.

A few of the most interesting features Harmony will offer are Location Oracles, Decentralized Maps and an AI data marketplace. These things will allow new innovations to move from imagination to reality, including:

  • Community content: Long-tail features, incentivized games, #pokemom, augmented reality and IoT w/ GPS data.
  • Smart cities: Autonomous vehicles-, ~1,000 self-organizing swarm robots with driven mission.
  • Privacy: Preserving Multiparty computation, #deletefacebook, homomorphic encryption.
  1.  Location Oracles: Nodes must be able to independently verify an oracle’s consistency so that it can effectively serve as authenticated data feeds. It is a challenge to integrate smart contracts with oracles that serve as authenticated data feeds. The team studied Crux: Locality-Preserving Distributed Systems for optimizing routing and for exposing network topology. This can take the GPS signals of mobile or IoT devices as proof of location in applications.
  2. Decentralized Maps:  Maps for geocoding and points of interest can be a showcase for decentralized applications in the real world. A good starting point for building decentralized maps on Harmony can be augmented reality games with incentives like Pokémon. The competitive advantage of decentralized maps is the long-tail, community-specific content. For example, a school can mobilize all of its staff to map out its buildings and playgrounds in a day; any student or organization can then build games and events on top of the location data without coordination.
  3. AI Data Marketplace: Harmony will also serve as a high-volume data marketplace and optimize its machine learning performance. It will follow blockchain-based machine learning marketplaces to build a new decentralized economy based on data.

Harmony also explores the design space and the scaling of smart contracts. It designed a new programming language called Min, and built a prototype compiler to demonstrate its ease and security, It compiles Min directly to machine code, eliminating the common dependencies of libraries or system tools. Currently, the compiler bootstraps itself in x86-64 instructions and supports development in Mac OS. In an unpublished repo Min also compiles to Java VM without any third-party tools.

The company has the following message:

“Computers automate tasks, Internet delivers information, smartphones bring mobility at almost no cost. Harmony will bring the next revolution of the decentralized economy to the masses, in which enforcing transactions and contracts is essentially free. Harmony will enable disintermediation of trust where anyone can create businesses without a central authority. For example, all 10B people can vote on a bill in 17 minutes; or, organization resources can be efficiently re-allocated every second.”

Token

The token model of Harmony aims to build a sustainable platform with help from decentralized developers and aligned investors, balancing the long-term commitment of development with the tiered incentives of investment.

The distribution is as follows:

  • 40% Community and Developer
  • 28% Foundation and Research
  • 20% Sales and Floating
  • 12% Founder and Team

For details on token lockup periods and incentives check out page 20 of the whitepaper.

The use of proceeds are outlined below:

  • 40% tech development of protocol platform
  • 20% Community Engagement and developer programs.
  • 15% Business Dev, Marketing
  • 10% Operations, Equipment, Cloud Servers
  • 10% Collaboration with Academic Research
  • 5% Legal, Finance

Team

The team is the reason we decided to run this analysis early before all the info was available. Readers need to know about this stacked group of elite techies.

Stephen Tse: is the project founder. His past experience includes: research at Microsoft Research, senior infrastructure engineer at Google, principal engineer on search ranking at Apple. He founded the mobile search Spotsetter with institutional venture capital; Apple later acquired the startup.

Alok Kothari has experience in deep learning models for natural language understanding at Apple Siri. His research paper won the best data set award at ICWSM 2013.

Rongjian Lan is an infrastructure engineer for Play Store at Google. He has published more than ten academic papers on spatio-temporal querying and map-based visualization. He is the co-chair of ABC Blockchain Foundation with 100+ engineers from Google, Facebook and LinkedIn as members.

Hakwan Lau is a Rhodes Scholar that specializes in neuroscience and machine learning. He was an associate professor at Columbia University and has published 90+ papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Trausti Kristjansson, whose previous experience includes stops at Microsoft Research, IBM Research and Google Research, founded full-stack startups and led PhD engineers at the top of their field as an Engineering Director.

Team member Bruce Huang served as engineer lead at Microsoft for seven years, a director at Alibaba Cloud and at Credit Ease. Later, he was the CEO of Madailicai, a top peer lending company in China.

Nicolas Burtey founded a VR video startup in 2012 that grew to 40 people and raised $10 million. Orah served the needs of thousands of professional content creators in 70 countries by selling GPU-driven live stitching software and 360° camera.

On top of that, Harmony has six extremely impressive advisers/collaborators. Check them out here. Below we highlight two project collaborators:

Verdict

I’ve watched more than a few conspiracy theory videos on YouTube. I know about Bilderbergers and The New World Order. This team has Illuminati written all over it. Hakwan Lau is a Rhodes Scholar for shit’s sake.

Hakwan’s latest science paper was called, “What is consciousness, and could machines have it?” At Harmony, he is exploring the connection between probabilistic consensus protocols and brain communication. He’s also studying “privacy-preserving modeling of mental patience’s data on blockchain.”

The whitepaper lists Harmony Protocols’ closest competitors; EOS valued at $14 billion, Zilliqa valued at $700 million, Hashgraph at $300 million, Thunder $100 million, Dfinity $100 million and Kadena at $12 million.

These valuations show just how important scalability is to the market. It’s everything right now.

Harmony has yet to announce its hard cap. Word on the streets is that it will be around $40 million. That’s massively less than the rest.

Risks

  • The token model is unsettling. Twenty-one billion tokens is a massive number. They do not give details on the utility uses of the token yet. It looks like there will definitely be staking nodes which means inflation. -1.2
  • A good question in their Q&A section was, “If OmniLedger is 13,000 tx/sec, how does Harmony make the leap to 10M tx/sec?” The answer: “Our further boosts to 10M tx/sec might come from: 100x more nodes (including light clients), 10x network (1Gb and 20ms world round trip with backbone relay), and 10x manycore graph processing.” So in order for Harmony to scale like they say they can, it will require community node participation. The more nodes go onto the chain, the faster it will transact. Growing their community to that scale will be very tough. -2
  • They aren’t doing a public ICO as of right now. So far they raised $18 million in a private seed sale. The whitepaper only mentions this in regards to further sales: “2018 Q4- Raising $?M as the final private token presale”. -1
  • No Telegram or community yet. Its still early, but still – they collected seed money already. -1

Growth Potential

  • Protocols that host DApps do really well. This one has innovative Location Oracles and Decentralized Maps. +4
  • They designed their blockchain with the 5G network in mind. The sky is the limit if they become a major player in 5G blockchain protocols.+2
  • A subproject of Harmony is a new programming language for writing smart contracts in an easier and safer way. Memory management requires enormous development effort or it dominates run-time cycles. According to the company, “Min’s innovative type inference automates ownership annotations in a region-based memory model, so code remains at a high-level abstraction without the complexity of a garbage collector.”+1
  • They plan on integrating the following aspects of a consensus protocol: scripts and contracts, fairness and efficiency (anti-pooling, proof of useful work, proof of stake), security and privacy (multi-signatures, attack models, verification) and off-chain and edge clients (Lightning, IoT)+1
  • This 2018 roadmap/chore list is strong. +2
  • Team is absolutely outstanding.+3

Disposition

This is a crypto investors wet dream. A team of ex-Apple and Googlers building a protocol for DApps that promises to scale the Decentralized 5G Economy to 10 billion People. Its a shame they won’t let the public buy into the sale easily. Guess we have to wait.  7.8/10

Investment Details

Featured image Courtesy of Shutterstock.

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4.3 stars on average, based on 22 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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