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ICO Analysis: Spectre

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Blockchain has come a long way in eight years, with 2017 signaling the start of a paradigm shift in mainstream understanding of the technology. Blockchain-backed currencies have caught fire over the past nine months, partly in anticipation of major disruptions in the financial industry as a result of the distributed ledger. Blockchain’s appeal has helped drive a $175 billion cryptocurrency market, where tokens are available instantly via public exchanges. Already today, brokers like Coinbase, Bitfinex, Bitstamp and Poloniex have tens of millions of traders accessing the digital currency market.

But online trading of financial instruments is nothing new. The forex industry has expanded rapidly over the past 15 years, attracting millions of retail traders into the fold. This highly competitive environment has led to a consolidation of sorts, with major brokers in North America, Europe and Asia emerging as the go-to source for online trading. They’ve spawned an entire community of white labels and affiliates designed to drive foot traffic to those respective platforms.

Although the online trading industry is still maturing, it is not immune from disruption. As demand for digital assets continues to grow, intermediation is one of the first things that could get left behind.

That’s exactly what Spectre is looking to accomplish through its forthcoming ICO. Spectre, or the Speculative Tokenized Trading Exchange, is the world’s first broker-less trading platform fully equipped with an embedded, decentralized liquidity pool.

Spectre is essentially trying to put an end to the brokerage industry as we know it. This desire isn’t exactly baseless, either. Have you read the reviews of the average online broker? Or the fact that they manipulate prices to keep traders in the red over the long term? Suffice it to say, many traders are pissed, giving Spectre plenty of scope to make bold proclamations about what it intends to accomplish.

SPECTRE, which is built on the Ethereum blockchain, removes the broker out of the picture entirely, thereby disrupting the current model and empowering the trader. SPECTRE’s aim is to disrupt the digital options and classic retail FX/equities trading industries and lead a paradigm shift. (Whitepaper)

Spectre intends to reshape online trading by upending shady brokerage practices like price manipulation, withdrawal delays and sudden IP bans. It seeks to create the first trading environment with no middleman or salesy account manager luring clients to trade more than they can afford.

It should be noted from the outset that Spectre allows traders to fund their accounts through cryptocurrency, but does not facilitate crypto-to-crypto trades. Instead, it allows you to access traditional financial instruments, such as FX, equities and options through the Ethereum blockchain.

The Token

The Spectre token utilizes smart contracts to create a more transparent environment for traders. Smart contracts will govern all transactions on the trading platform, thereby eliminating any need for brokerage intermediation.

Spectre will have two types of tokens in circulation, each trading separately on different exchanges to ensure continued compliance with regulations. One of the tokens pays out dividends that are calculated by the growth of the liquidity pool and buyback program. The other, utility token does not pay dividends, but is essential for in-platform privileges, such as higher payouts, access to all assets and trade indicators as well as the Spectre Financial Education Academy.

As an ERC20 compliant token, Spectre can be stored on any Ethereum wallet that supports the protocol. The tokens can also be traded on all major cryptocurrency exchanges.

The token may be purchased only through Ethereum. Investors can convert other cryptocurrencies into ether using ShapeShift.

The token pre-sale will begin Oct. 27 and last until Nov. 5. The ICO will commence on Nov. 17, and run for 24 days until the maximum cap in Ethereum tokens is reached. Spectre says the cap is a security measure and not a goal.

A total of 240 million tokens will be available. Any unsold tokens will be burned, with investors receiving a greater proportional share of tokens.

The Team

Spectre is headed by Karan Khemani, a serial entrepreneur who has extensive experience in finance. His career includes stops at J.P. Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. He also has a pair of degrees from the London School of Economics.

Spectre’s strong personnel is one of its most defining attributes. In addition to Khemani, the team employs experts in financial engineering across the forex, equities and digital options markets. Full-stack developers and blockchain experts are also retained to re-purpose existing trading platforms for the Ethereum blockchain. Developer staff are also responsible for token engineering and audit.

The London-based company has a full-fledged management team with the following roles:

  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Technical Architect
  • R&D Director
  • Blockchain Consultant and Auditor
  • Solidity Developer
  • Trading Education Associate
  • Digital Marketing Manager

From the homepage, investors can navigate to each team member’s LinkedIn account for further information.

Verdict

Spectre is a thought-provoking concept that could have major implications for the online forex industry. If it succeeds, we could be looking at a more transparent market for FX and related investments.

Of course, there are important risks to consider when weighing the potential benefits. I believe the team would agree that these risks cannot be overlooked.

Risks

  • Competition in the online broker industry has never been fiercer. Depending on how you define “online trading,” most of the major FX platforms using MT4/MT5 have been around for more than a decade. (Online discount stock brokers like E*Trade have existed for more than three decades). Although none of the existing brokers offer Spectre’s decentralized liquidity pools, they do have deep pockets, millions of traders and attractive programs. They also have a track record of being malicious. How will Spectre convey its advantages to retail traders who have little background in blockchain or who haven’t yet appreciated the concept of tokenized balance sheets? Moreover, how will it deal with the parade of attacks against it, both by FX brokers and their minions? Kay, if I were you, I’d start patrolling the message boards asap for fake reviews.  -4
  • Transaction speed on the Ethereum blockchain has been cited as a concern among industry participants. Spectre’s success can mean millions of transactions processed on the ETH blockchain, which could result in processing delays. If this occurs, the company says one option is to migrate to a side-chain to ensure transaction continuity. -2
  • Given that liquidity is denominated in ether coins, currency volatility could have a significant impact on returns. If history is any indication, no cryptocurrency is immune from volatility. -2

Growth potential

  • For starters, Spectre isn’t some abstract concept, but a full-fledged trading platform you can test out right now. Simply go to the Registration page and open an account. I’ve created a Demo account and set Donald Trump as my avatar (Donald Trump avatars are included in the platform). Of course, the decentralized liquidity pool and tokenized balance sheets will come much later (the company’s Roadmap goes until Q2 2019).+3
  • Spectre’s business concept is as disruptive as they come. We can literally write ten paragraphs about how the platform will disrupt the industry, but the important thing is that traders will no longer be at the mercy of the broker. Not for fees, withdrawals or real market prices. +4
  • The team is as solid as they come. No, really. The author hasn’t come across too many ICOs that are run like a full-fledged corporation. +4
  • Spectre is applying for a regulatory license in 2018 with the FCA or another EU MifFID offering jurisdiction. There doesn’t seem to be anything impeding its successful bid. What’s more, the company has cleverly devised a way to overcome U.S. exchanges that do not welcome dividend-tokens due to SEC rules. In those jurisdictions, the company will list its utility token, which does not pay dividends. +3.5

Disposition

Having spent many years dealing with the online forex industry, the author admits to having a natural bias for Spectre. That’s not to say its success will necessarily sound the death knell for online brokers, but it will certainly force them to get their act together – something they have struggled to do since Web 2.0.

That being said, investors should back Spectre if they believe in the idea. It’s my hunch that many FX traders will gravitate toward this concept.

Against this backdrop, we are happy to give the Spectre ICO 6.5 out of 10. The author’s own conviction is higher than that based on the concept alone.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: SPEC
  • Pre-Sale: Oct. 27-Nov. 5
  • Opening Sale: Nov. 17, 2017
  • End Date; Dec. 12, 2017
  • Platform: Ethereum (ETH)
  • Total Supply: 240 million SPEC
  • Payments Accepted: Ethereum (ETH)

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 647 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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ICO

ICO Analysis: Brain Space

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As we spend more and more time on the Internet, we become more “digital” and unsurprisingly, our everyday practices keep changing. Yet, change isn’t always so simple, especially when it comes down to intellectual property. Constantly using the Internet and creating new, original content whose rights we are entitled to, creates controversies as the intellectual property market faces several crucial problems such as in the following:

  • It is hard to establish connections between businesses and intellectual property owners.
  • There is no high-quality sustainable system dedicated to intellectual property.

But no more says the Brain Space team whose primary goals are to create an infrastructure to solve problems in the industry and to provide frictionless access for authors to the international stage. The latter is especially crucial for the market and should be underlined because if it is hard, inaccessible and inconvenient for an author to register and record his or her products, a healthy market’s occurrence is hardly conceivable.

Yet this is proven to be hard in the actual intellectual properties market as “a huge increase in capitalization, the issue of infringement of the author’s rights and the misuse of someone else’s intellectual property is acute”. The author has every reason and right to demand that his or her rights are protected and his or her products are used in accordance with legal frameworks. This brings the need for a platform where copyrights, patents or other intellectual properties are registered and protected rightfully.

Creating a safe and fast platform to store all this data is not an easy task obviously, yet Brain Space has proven how serious they are by building their own data center for this purpose to support the network of nodes. It is planned to have a capacity of 5 Petabytes (5,000 Terabytes or 5,000,000 Gigabytes), 3,000 KW of energy and 500 server racks each with a 40 Gbit per second Internet connection.

Token

IMP tokens are used as universal payment tools in the platform. The private-sale price per IMT token is $0.01, the pre-sale price $0.03 and the ICO price is $0.08. As any ICO investors will have to pay eight times of private sale contributors for the same number of tokens, token metrics do not seem favorable for him or her. Any crypto-investor who has taken a likening in the project might be better off if he or she waits until the token hits the market where probably he or she could buy it cheaper than the ICO price.

The initial total supply of IMP is 2,700,000,000 tokens with the following token distribution:

  1. 10% private sale
  2. 26% token sale
  3. 5% bounty, bonus, marketing
  4. 2% further attraction in the project
  5. 17% pre-sale
  6. 15% team
  7. 25% maintaining the platform project

The team is planning to use the token sale proceeds as follows.

  1. 28% data center
  2. 1% ICO expenses
  3. 15% listing, marketing, and business development
  4. 7% team
  5. 2% attraction of users
  6. 2% legal and financial services
  7. 8% expansion, operations
  8. 2% legal status and licenses
  9. 15% backup
  10. 5% technical development
  11. 14% specialists
  12. 1% community events

Team

Ivan Shikhalev: Shikhalev was a software engineer at Tenzor Company.

Denis Dimitriev: Dimitriev has worked as a financial analyst at TeleTrade Russia.

Verdict

Below is a breakdown of the risks and growth potential of Brain Space.

Risks

  • As the ICO price is eight times of the private sale price, any ICO investor will have to pay eight times more than a private sale contributor for the same number of IMP tokens which does not sound like a healthy investment at all. It might be reasonable to wait until the token hits the market and hope it opens at a lower price if you are interested in the project. (-2)

Growth Potential

  • The team is planning to have its own data center, which means that the team is aiming to provide sufficient speed and security for the platform in addition to any other nodes run by others. (+2)
  • Blockchains’ immutable permanent nature is a perfect fit for intellectual property platforms. (+2)

Disposition

The intellectual rights market suffers from several problems such as the absence of a high-quality sustainable platform, the infringement of authors’ rights and the misuse of the authors’ rights as well as products. Blockchain technology, thanks to its immutable, permanent nature, has a high chance to solve this problem and Brain Space is such a platform aiming at these issues. Although one might be worried about the platform’s security, speed, and scalability, the team is planning to build its own high-capacity data center to support network needs. Still, from an ICO investor’s perspective, we cannot say token metrics are favorable as the private sale contributors had the chance to buy IMP tokens with a price of $0.01 while the ICO price is $0.08. As of the time of writing, there are still two months until the ICO, so the ICO investor should strongly weigh the project’s pros and cons before making any investment and likely consider buying tokens after they hit the market. Brain Space receives a 2/10.

Investment Details

  • Type: ERC20 – Utility
  • Symbol: IMP
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Crowdsale: January 14th
  • Minimum Investment: $100
  • Price: $0.08
  • Hard Cap: $73,630,000
  • Payments Accepted: Bitcoin, Ethereum
  • Restricted from Participating: United States, China, and North Korea

For More Information

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

ICO Analysis: Aqua Intelligence

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The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal has revealed that the world’s biggest social network’s millions of users’ personal data were harvested for political reasons. This was not the first scandal revealing user data misused for a corporation’s or a person’s gains. Big data companies are known to track Internet users’ data as closely as possible in order to sell the data later for monetary gain.

However, the actual owner of the data, the end user, rarely benefits from this data monetization. Aqua Intelligence is a platform enabling its users to monetize their data in the form of tokens. The team aims to collect data from their already existing products and other sources in order to build a profile system at an international scale.

As a high amount of data is expected to flow into the platform, human analysis alone will not be sufficient to process it all. The team is looking to enhance the system with artificial intelligence and machine learning, to further improve sales, retention, conversion and customer satisfaction. If the team is able to meet their goals, Aqua Intelligence has a chance to take a shot at one of the world’s biggest industries.

Initially focusing on the hospitality industry where the team is the most experienced, Aqua Intelligence will create a data solution to help businesses improve their revenues with personalized offerings and improved operational efficiency. In return, the platform users will be rewarded with loyalty benefits in return for validating their personal data.

Aqua Intelligence is designed to have three main components.

  • Aqua Intelligence is the core component where the data is processed.
  • Platform users use Aqua Mobile Application to earn tokens in return for providing and validating data and completing other tasks like surveys and reviews. The application enables them to manage their loyalty points as well.
  • It is all thanks to Aqua Revenue Management System that businesses are able to improve their sales numbers and efficiency. By using this component, they will be able to provide personalized offers and special group sales.

Token

AQX tokens will be used to distribute rewards and loyalty points in the Aqua Intelligence platform. The ICO investor should note that until October 6th a bonus of 100% was offered to investors. As of the time of writing, 50% bonus is available for investors until November 5th. Any person considering to invest in Aqua Intelligence should better hurry and make his or her decision before the sale moves to the next stage where only 20% will be offered.

The initial total supply of AQX is 500,000,000 tokens with the following token distribution:

  1. 5% bounties and airdrops
  2. 20% team
  3. 30% platform reserve
  4. 45% AQUA token sale

The team is planning to use the token sale proceeds as follows.

  1. 10% legal
  2. 10% operational expenses
  3. 20% marketing
  4. 20% research & editorial
  5. 40% platform development

Team

CEO Anthony Gelman: Gelman has worked as a housekeeping training manager at Wynn Las Vegas and as a housekeeping manager at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

COO Leon Pashnick: Pashnick was the assistant manager of housekeeping at Wynn Las Vegas.

Okechi Onyeje: Onyeje is a software engineer at Vistaprint.

Advisors

Rick Hilton: Hilton is the chairman at Hilton & Hyland Real Estate, a real estate company based in Beverly Hills, since 1994.

Chuck Goldman: Goldman, a mentor at MassChallenge, has worked as a senior director at Apple for four years.

Tony Lau: Lau was the vice president of finance at Hughes Network Systems and Lockheed Martin/Astrolink International.

David Norton: Norton is the chairman and chief marketing officer at GALE partners, a marketing and advertising company and a board member at Home Care Assistance. He also has held the chief marketing officer position at Caesars Entertainment Corporation for twelve years and worked as a vice president at Bank of America.

Arthur Iinuma: Iinuma has worked for Citi, Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management.

Verdict

Below is a breakdown of the risks and growth potential of Aqua Intelligence.

Risks

  • The AQX token does not have any staking or profit distribution mechanism and has none to very little use case for people who will not use the token except for speculative trading. (-2)
  • Early stage investors get a 100% bonus which should discourage later investors from investing in the project. (-1)

Growth Potential

  • Great advisors with experience at well-known firms, with some of those being in the hospitality industry (the project’s initial focus). (+3)
  • The team is planning to initially focus on the hospitality market, where they are experienced. (+3)

Disposition

Whether one likes or not, personal data is money in this day and age. Aqua Intelligence gives people a chance to monetize their personal data in return for loyalty points and rewards in different forms. The project is backed by great advisors and the team’s initial focus will be the hospitality market where they have a lot of experience. Aqua Intelligence receives a 3/10.

Investment Details

  • Type: ERC20 – Utility
  • Symbol: AQX
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Crowdsale: Unspecified
  • Minimum Investment: 0.05 ETH
  • Price: $0.18
  • Hard Cap: $30,000,000
  • Payments Accepted: ETH
  • Restricted from Participating: Unspecified

For More Information

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

ICO Analysis: BX.BET

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BX.BET is offering a decentralized blockchain-based betting exchange and prediction market ecosystem to tackle the fragmented market of betting.

BX aims to utilize the full power of blockchain and smart contracts to give users full control over their funds and betting transactions, with full transparency and total freedom to bet as they please. BX users will be able to take over the role of the bookmaker and create their own markets, and place/offer bets with self-determined odds.

The BX token will be a key component to enable all betting transactions. Users will be able to trade bets in three different markets: sports/esports, prediction markets, and financial markets.

The BX whitepaper also claims the fleshing out of interesting features like Oracles to create predictive markets, which is a pretty cool concept.

Token

A notable component of this pre-sale is the bonus structure, which incentivizes investors who contribute more than $15,000 with a 30% discount.

Team

The BX team carries a cumulative nine decades of experience in the betting industries and seems poised to handle the execution of the project well.

Verdict

Below is a rundown of the risks and opportunities associated with BX token.

Risks

  • Competition: A quick Google search shows 7 projects offering a decentralized betting program, and that’s just the first page. Yes, creating a decentralized betting platform is a good idea, so good an idea that dozens of teams are working hard to execute it. One of the more notable competitors is Augur, hit a market cap of over $1B (currently at ~$140M), made a big splash and is generally assumed to have first mover advantage in the space. However, to look at BX’s competition within the crypto realm is doing it an injustice, especially when you look at how fragmented the betting landscape has been. -3
  • Regulatory risks: A huge reason the products and companies in the betting sector have lagged behind is regulation is incredibly tricky, especially for a project looking to create an international betting platform. The BX team has to deal with dozens and potentially hundreds of different authorities. It’s decentralized in function, yes, but not decentralized enough in company structure to avoid any regulatory upheavals. -2
  • Steep team/advisor token ownership:Only 60% of the tokens will be sold to the public. It’s worth noting that of the token sale, 10% of the tokens go to the team,15% go to a “company reserve”, and 10% go to advisors. So, of the $20m hard cap (if reached), the team gets $2M, $3M goes to the company reserve, and $2M goes to advisors. That’s about  $222,222 average per the 9 team members (locked for 2 years), $666,666 average per the 3 advisors, and $3,000,000 in what I’m assuming is a rainy day fund. This doesn’t necessarily signal foul play, but as an investor, I would be slightly concerned that 35% of all total tokens stay with the company in some capacity, either as compensation or as a reserve. -2

Growth Potential:

  • The current betting landscape is a disorganized mess: If you want to bet on an NFL game, for example, you’d have to either contact a bookie to place the bet for you, or have a custom log-in on whatever site that bookie uses (or just bet someone next to you, but that’s not always convenient). If BX.BET can clean up this fragmented ecosystem and provide users a central place to bet freely without the obstacles, I could see it picking up a ton of users from scattered betting sites. +3
  • Removal of the third party bookmaker intermediary: Value tends to be created for the users of any decentralized platform that removes third party intermediaries, such as bookies. This means better betting terms and odds, leading to higher customer satisfaction. +3
  • Size of the industry: The BX.BET promotional materials place the betting industry at $60 billion and an annual growth rate of 10%. +2
  • Discounts are appealing: The pre-sale hasn’t started yet, but those wishing to invest anywhere between $300 to $15,000 can see between 15% to 30%. +4
  • Capable team:  The BX team consists of a group of people who have deep experience in this industry. In a niche with such a high rate of competition, the team is going to make the difference. +1

Disposition

We arrive at a +6 or BX.BET. The project seems very well put together and the app has a clean interface, but the level of competition, regulatory risks, and team compensation give me hesitations.

Investment Details

  • Symbol: BX
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • ICO Date: Oct. 15, 2018
  • Minimum Investment: $100 USD
  • Token Price: 1 BX = $0.19 usd
  • Payments Accepted: BTC, ETH, fiat
  • Country: Malta

The token sale starts on October 15th. To find more information on the project, check out the BX.BET website and BX.BET whitepaper.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 18 rated postsAlex Moskov is a writer and entrepreneur with a passion for building and creating awesome things. Alex has experience in music tech startups, digital marketing, and cryptocurrency investing.




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