TripAlly is an ambitious project that aims to rid travelers of international data roaming charges. As the world’s first global connectivity platform, it seeks to streamline mobile internet by reducing our dependence on SIM cards, high roaming fees and the need for extra devices.
Mobile computing has become an essential aspect of our daily lives, but telecommunications regulations have made it difficult to stay connected across borders (at least, at affordable rates). TripAlly’s value proposition is simple: for a fixed price similar to local internet rates, travelers can access unlimited data in each country they visit.
Data roaming has seen some of the highest mark-ups in the history of commerce. As ZDNet explains, over the past five years it wasn’t uncommon for operators to mark-up their data roaming rates by 80,000%. By comparison, the mark-up for cocaine from grower to consumer usually reaches a maximum of 32,000%. (Perhaps operators realize that mobile data is more addictive?)
The basic mechanism for arriving at data roaming charges is quite simple. Operators in different countries have negotiated wholesale prices for international data roaming. If Operator A’s customer travelers abroad and uses their smartphone on Operator B’s network, Operator A can add whatever mark-up it wants to arrive at the retail price. In general, the higher the wholesale price agreed, the more the customers from both networks will pay.
Now, the first question prospective investors should ask is: Why would mobile operators work with TripAlly? The TripAlly whitepaper explains:
Mobile operators will receive significant revenue from TripAlly. Under a Service License Agreement (SLA) between TripAlly and mobile operators, they will keep portion of revenue from TripAlly Internet services. This means that without any extra work or expenses, mobile operators will increase their customer base and profits.
It goes on to offer a rationale for the alternative revenue stream:
Why would mobile operators consider this alternative revenue stream? Because mobile operators are facing a big challenge competing with new distributive OTT services, such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber. Between 2012 to 2018, mobile operators will account for $386 billion USD in lost revenue to OTT services. International roaming revenue is decreasing and becoming less significant for operators to count it as a major revenue stream. This trend can be verified in any major mobile operator’s annual report.
TripAlly will deliver cheap internet services through a mobile application on your existing network SIM card using networks in destination countries. Of course, this will require strong business development on the part of TripAlly. The faster these partnerships are forged, the more likely that investors will back the project.
Within the first two years of operation, TripAlly forecasts an acceptance rate of 20% among travelers in the countries it services. The company plans to launch TripAlly internet in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia in summer 2018 before expanding throughout Asia in 2019.
The company is issuing an Ethereum-based token named ALLY, or AllyCoin, which will provide additional payment options for existing clients. Furthermore, ALLY can be resold for profit to users who do not have the token.
Interestingly enough, ALLY is already accepted at more than 200 venues across Bangkok, Thailand. Broader implementation is expected in late 2018.
In addition to facilitating hassle-free internet connection, the ALLY token can also be converted into fiat currency through a network of ATM machines in Southeast Asia. The whitepaper provides a detailed workflow of how this is supposed to work.
For non-ALLY holders, one day of unlimited internet usage will cost $3 USD.
The ICO pre-sale was launched Sept. 17, and will run until Oct. 15. During this period, the ALLY token is available at a 60% discount. The pr-ICO goal is to reach 1,500 ETH by selling 750,000 ALLY tokens. The ICO stage will run from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30.
The Singapore-based company is ramping up quickly in pursuit of full-scale product development. TripAlly is headed by co-founders Aleksey Gordienko, Sergey Goreev and Sergey Zubkov , who have a long and established track record in the Asia market.
Founded in 2016, the company has already developed its proprietary solution and negotiated with mobile operators in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Over the next year, it plans to roll out its services in select countries.
The team has a combined 75 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. It has also put together a strong advisory team of legal counsel and cryptocurrency experts. The company has already established an impressive list of partners and collaborators, a strong signal that the ICO has legs.
TripAlly fills a large void in the data roaming market, which makes it an attractive play for investors who understand the telecommunications industry. TripAlly also boasts a strong management team that is extremely well connected to the Asian market. As a big idea, it will need big funding to come to fruition.
Although the company has laid the groundwork for operators, investors should bear in mind that telecom is highly regulated and faces plenty of bottlenecks. After all, there’s a reason why operators have been able to mark-up data roaming charges so severely. Additionally, TripAlly has been in existence for a very short period, so it’s difficult to gauge its long-term prospects when no real business has been generated. At this stage, investors are buying this token because they believe in the business model.
Nonetheless, TripAlly appears confident that it can roll out its services by Q4 2018, with Mynanmar, Vietnam and Malaysia the first markets to begin accepting ALLY internet services. The company is virtually guaranteeing 500% ROI post-ICO, although the metrics behind this figure aren’t provided in the whitepaper.
From a token perspective, the company has confirmed that ALLY will be priced at $3 after the ICO. In other words, one ALLY token is equivalent to one day of mobile internet connection. Tokens will also be liquid and tradeable on the exchanges.
Investors with a long-term time horizon may find TripAlly a good opportunity. Developments over the next 12 months will be crucial in determining the success of early adoption. TripAlly expects to roll out its services in the top-100 travel destination countries by 2024.
- Telecom is a highly regulated market that may prove difficult to navigate across international borders. -1
- TripAlly is still in its very early stages, so investors should be cautious. -1.5
- Mobile data consumption patterns may differ in lower income emerging markets. -1
- There is huge demand for affordable data roaming services that is expected to grow as tourism, travel and mobile penetration increase. +2
- TripAlly has the first-mover advantage in this industry. +2.5
- The company has moved swiftly to lock in partners and networks, and is looking to scale up quickly in the coming years. +3
- The team is about as good as it gets for the Southeast Asia market. +2
At this stage in the game, we believe a score of 6 out of 10 for TripAlly is justified. The positive outlook is largely tied to the growing demand for data roaming. In 2016 alone, there were 1.2 billion travelers worldwide. Mobile device penetration is also in the several billions. Given the outrageous fees paid for roaming, TripAlly has the opportunity to make a huge splash.
At the same time, investors need to be aware that the company is rolling out its services in developing countries where mobile penetration may be lower and data roaming charges less severe.
The ICO pre-sale can be accessed here.
- Token: ALLY
- Platform: Ethereum
- Amount of initial token to be issued: 100,000,00 ALLY
- Initial fixed price: 0.005 ETH per 1 ALLY or 1 ETH for 200 ALLY
- Pre-ICO Price: 0.002 ETH per 1 ALLY or 1 ETH for 500 ALLY
ICO Analysis: Datum
Did you know the word Datum is singular for data? I didn’t!
As the name suggests Datum’s business model revolves around data.
The Datum network allows anyone to store structured data securely in a decentralized way on a smart contract blockchain. The DAT smart token enables optional selling and buying of stored data while enforcing data usage rules as set by the data owner.
Nowadays data is an asset which is as valuable as oil and machines used to be in the past. It has become a strategic asset that allows companies to acquire or maintain a competitive edge. User data can find many applications and uses, most important being advertising and research.
“If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.” – Andrew Lewis, 2010.
Internet conglomerates like Facebook, Google, Twitter provide their services for free but in exchange exploit a user’s personal data. Sensitive information like personal emails are accessed by Google to sell information to advertisers. The data ecosystem is now worth billions of dollars, however the most important component of this system i.e the user, is the only one who is not actively involved. Datum is creating a decentralized network where users will have all the control over their data and will get paid for sharing it.
Datum network is based on smart contracts which enable the sharing and exchange of data. Datum client will be a web and mobile based application where user submits the data along with its usage terms. The data gets encrypted and stored in decentralized form using IPFS and BigChainDB. Users will have to pay some fee to the network storage miners. Once buyers submit their requirements, smart contracts match the attributes and release data in exchange of access charges taken from the buyer.
Apple’s Healthkit is similar to what Datum aims to offer. However the data stored on Healthkit is centrally located and owned by Apple, and the users don’t get paid for sharing their data. The team has not given many usecases of the product usage in their short whitepaper apart from a few examples of data monopoly of internet giants like Facebook and Google. Newly launched AirToken also pays users for enabling access to data. The concept of Datum is somewhat different, you can check our review of AirToken here. Companies like Papyrus,Qchain are creating digital advertising ecosystems in which users get paid for sharing their data to advertisers. They are limited to advertising ecosystem, while Datum aims to cover other domains as well, although we don’t exactly know which ones.
Token and Crowdraise
DAT is the only token to be used on the platform. DAT will be used in various stages of the product offering. Users will have to pay DATs to access the network and store data. Data buyers will pay DATs to register on the network and access user data. Third party services of CIVIC, IPFS, BigChainDB will be used in the network.
The ICO will begin on 29th October. The total supply of DAT will be 3 billion of which 1.53 Billion will be available for the ICO. There is a softcap of $5 million and a hardcap of $45 million. One DAT is valued at around $0.03. 20% of the total supply of 3 billion is kept for the team. 60% of the funds raised will be used for development and 15% for marketing.
CEO Roger Haenni is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in big data systems. He has cofounded 4 companies one of which includes StockX. StockX is a venture capital backed e-commerce site for global sneaker resale market. The whitepaper lists 8 members in the team and 1 adviser. Adviser Daniel Saito is the cofounder of MySQL. A recent blogpost shows addition of 3 new advisers and a few more team members. The core team has no prior blockchain experience, they have hired 2 Stanford undergrads as blockchain engineers. We give an average rating to the team. The team’s lack of blockchain experience should have been compensated by having more advisers who have worked with the technology.
Even after a user downloads Datum, what is stopping Facebook, Google, Amazon from sharing user’s data. That’s how the internet economy works. Facebook, Google are providing free services to users only because they get the data. The “only users have access to their data” part of the advertising campaign is somewhat misleading. IF very strict antitrust laws come up which prevent internet giants from collecting user info without their permission, then the business model might find value. Atleast for the decentralized digital advertising bit, companies like Papyrus, Airtoken seem to be much better placed. As for the other usecases, there is not much information available. There is a mention of car data, where users will sell data that their car generates using Datum. But then how are they planning to do that? Are they actively seeking partnerships with car manufactures like Dovu does? Overall we feel the idea is good, but the scope is too broad for a single team to handle. We hope the team shares some more details through blog posts etc.
- The scope of the project is too big for small team to handle. Many projects are working on the issue of data ownership, but they are focused on niche segments. -3
- The whitepaper leaves you with many questions in mind. -2
- For a project of this scale a large adviser network is needed. The whitepaper mentions only one adviser. A blog post informing about addition of 3 new advisers was posted on 14th October. Did they add 3 new advisers just two weeks before an ICO where they want to raise $45 million? -0.5
- The concept of data ownership holds a lot of potential. +2
- Datum can definitely scale in usecases like medicine, where something similar to HealthKit can be created. +4
- Tokens used in transactions will be burnt, creating value for token holders as the network scales. +2
We arrive at a score of 2.5 out of 10 for Datum. The score seems valid considering the many underlying grey areas.
The ICO begins on 29th October. You can register for the whitelist here.
ICO Analysis: Worldcore
From the perspective of ICOs, Worldcore stands apart for the fact that it is already known as a successful payment solution. Established in 2014, the Czech-based company offers an online transfer service that specializes in bank wires, prepaid withdrawal cards, instant credit card payments and free money transfers.
The company only recently announced plans to create a peer-to-peer lending platform hosted over the blockchain. While some may say Worldcore is being opportunistic, it boasts a client base of more than 25,000 people across the globe. In 2017, it has already cleared $100 million in transaction volume.
As a regulated payment solution with an EU license to operate in the Czech Republic, Worldcore has had great success in its first few years. It has an established track record, a decent business model and aspirations of global expansion. It also picked the right time to enter crypto.
But that doesn’t mean Worldcore doesn’t have limitations. As we’ll discuss in the following sections, the company’s lofty valuation is more than just a pat on the back for the good work it has done in recent years.
If that isn’t enough, we invite anyone to visit the company’s site (or is it, this one?) and try to make sense exactly what it is that Worldcore offers. The author isn’t proud to admit he had to visit several third-party websites just to figure out that the company is an online transfer service. You might be thinking, bad copywriters? Maybe. But what if we told you Worldcore is also planning to launch a 24/7 TV service? From the scant details we were able to obtain from the whitepaper, WorldcoreTV will be launched if and when the company raises $25 million. On that note, the whitepaper is a 73-page poster that doesn’t offer much to the tech-savvy investor.
Worldcore launched its WRC token Oct. 14 on the Ethereum blockchain. One WRC is valued at $0.10 USD, with a total market cap of $100 million USD. A total of 1 billion tokens will be circulated during the ICO. Investors can participate in the raise using fiat currencies like the euro and U.S. dollar, as well as cryptocurrencies.
Worldcore’s motivation for the crowdraise is to leverage the blockchain in pursuit of bigger business. The company isn’t just dabbing its foot in the ledger technology, but actually converting its business operation to enable greater blockchain capability.
In its whitepaper, the company emphasizes the following target audience for its services:
- Big companies
- Online shops and retailers
- Online marketplaces
- Common people
- All kinds of small business
With a list like that, it’s clear Worldcore is thinking very big. The company’s global reach is demonstrated by the fact that it has translated its website into more than ten languages.
Anyone who wants to send money overseas, facilitate business-to-business transactions and utilize unique security enhancements like voice recognition is Worldcore’s target market.
The company has an aggressive roadmap that begins by obtaining membership of the major credit cards, SWIFT and SEPA networks by Q1 2018. With $10 million in funding, it plans to open “5 fully-packed offices in 5 more EU countries” by Q1 2019. If it reaches $25 million in funding, it will launch its WorldcoreTV service, “the world’s first 24/7 hybrid of TV channel and digital media focused on Fintech & BlockChain industries with online and international 24/7 broadcasting through Satellite and IPTV.”
At $50 million raised, the company plans to transform into a Swiss bank. It believes it can do this by mid-2019.
WRC tokens are essentially a stake in the newly developed blockchain-focused company. In other words, think of your WRC tokens as stocks. There doesn’t seem to be any direct use of the tokens within the company’s network, except to reap profits from Worldcore’s business growth. Worldcore is offering 30% profit to its investors.
If “slow money” isn’t your style, you can trade the WRC token on the digital currency exchange. This option will be available to token holders immediately. The company says it will provide a full list of exchanges where WRC is accepted at the end of the ICO.
In terms of personnel, there’s quite a bit of clout behind the Worldcore executive. Founder and CEO Alex Nasonov was listed in the Financial Times annual ranking of New Europe 100 changemakers in Central and Eastern Europe. The company also has a solid list of general partners that includes Bitpay.
Against this backdrop, the author has little doubt that Worldcore is home to a solid team. However, very little information is provided about them, their credentials or the advisers they’ve selected.
Based on the whitepaper, Worldcore is home to at least three developers, 20-plus support and development staff and a core team of managers. The company also consults with advisers, but does not name them.
The team operates in accordance with EU law, so there’s little to be concerned about from the perspective of legitimacy, regulation and business ethics.
Worldcore is a highly ambitious company with a proven track record in its niche market. But as an outsider, understanding the company’s service offerings and assigning it a valuation has proven difficult. We feel that the strategy behind the capital raise veers away from the company’s core service offering. As an outsider, the roadmap for growth seems a little far fetched (as a reminder, Worldcore says it can become a full-fledged Swiss bank in less than two years).
- At $100 million USD, Worldcore is significantly overvalued. Although the company doesn’t state its revenues, the price tag is too high for what it currently offers. Of course, this hard cap is based on potential, but the author isn’t too excited about WorldcoreTV. -5
- The roadmap for growth makes very little sense. Capital raise via ICO makes even less sense from the information we gathered from the whitepaper and the website. -3
- Although the development team has been involved in blockchain since 2016, there’s no mention of blockchain or cryptocurrency expertise or experience. The team has done a good job offering an online payment service, but what exactly does this mean from the perspective of blockchain? By the looks of it, Worldcore is taking a deep dive into this technology. Can we really be sure it’s going about it the right way? -3
- Competition looms large for any blockchain-based payment service. This will work against Worldcore, which, again, has very little experience. -3
- Worldcore is scaling up its core services quickly, and the company expects to clear $150 million in transaction volume this year. +4
- The company’s CEO has established a good track record that has not gone unrecognized. +1
Based on the above, we assign the Worldcore ICO a rating of 1 out of 10. The holes in the business plan are simply too glaring to even consider funding a project of this nature. We certainly don’t take anything away from the company’s growth, but the project idea does not compute.
Hacked.com members have a high propensity for spotting shoddy whitepapers. The Worldcore write-up is one of the weakest seen. Once again, we invite our members to give it a read and share if they have any unique or differing perspectives.
For more information about the Worldcore token raise, visit the main website.
- Project Type: Crowdsale
- Opening Date: Oct. 14, 2017
- End Date; Nov. 14, 2017
- Platform: Ethereum (ETH)
- Total Supply: 1 billion tokens
- Token Price: $0.10 USD (all unsold tokens will be burned upon the ICO’s closure)
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
ICO Analysis: Genesis Vision
Genesis Vision is creating a platform for a private trust management market based on blockchain and smart contracts which will serve as an ecosystem for traders, investors and brokers.
Gensis is proposing a system which will enable investors to passively invest in BOTH cryptocurrencies and traditional assets. Trust management in this reference is a system where investors transfer their funds to wealth management companies/fiduciaries/experts who manage and invest these funds in assets which match the investor’s risk profile. The total amount of funds under management globally were at $70 trillion in 2016, and are expected to reach $100 trilllion in 2020.
Having personally worked in this industry for a few years, the author has seen some of its grey areas very closely. Wealth management companies measure their success by the amount of funds they are managing, which incentivizes them to attract as much capital as they can. While investors select fund managers based on their past performance, these numbers can be easily overstated by creating personalized statistics for performance measurement and working in tandem with brokers. Even the fee structure is kept opaque in many instances, with many types of “hidden” fees being charged to the customers. Many fund managers receive bonuses which are 15-20 times of their base salaries, which incentivizes them to keep the fee structure high and opaque. While investors have kept investing money with wealth managers, numbers show that only 17% of them have managed to beat their respective benchmarks in the past 10 years.
Genesis Value Proposition
Genesis Vision is a decentralized trust management platform built on blockchain technology and smart contracts. Blockchain technology provides indispensable advantages, such as openness, immutability, and censorship-resistance of all stored information, whereas smart contracts, which will be carrying out investment and profit distribution, make these processes completely transparent and open. Each manager in the Genesis Vision network has his own cryptocurrency. The size of the issue depends on successful trade statistics. The process of transferring funds to the manager is carried out by buying a manager’s cryptocurrency on the internal exchange.
There will be 3 core elements of the Genesis ecosystem: investment managers, investors and the brokers. Investors and the investment managers will interact with the platform using the mobile app or the web based application. Each manager will have his own Ethereum based token. Investors will contribute the funds that they want invested and will get the manager’’s tokens in return. A manager’s tokens gain their value from the performance of his portfolio and will trade on Genesis’s internal exchange. The manager shares the profits from the portfolio after fixed intervals, which are shared with his token holders. Smart contracts facilitate all the transactions. Every trade that a manager makes is stored in the decentralized IFPS which is visible to all and makes the system transparent.
The part of the ecosystem discussed above is enough for cryptocurrency based asset management, however when dealing with traditional assets, the brokers come into play. As of now and maybe for a foreseeable future, Genesis will only facilitate cryptocurrency and Forex based asset management. When an asset manager includes Forex in his portfolio, the investor’s funds will be routed through a broker who will buy the required fiat currency and supply it to the asset manager.
The proposed business model has benefits for all participants which includes investors, managers and the brokers. The investors benefit from the transparency while the investors and brokers get to access a larger demographic.
If you remove the Forex part of the project, the idea is similar to what Melonport and CoinDash are doing. All three of them facilitate any trader to create and manage crypto based portfolios. Genesis differentiates itself by including the traditional asset part as well as creating individual tokens for each asset manager.
Token and Crowdraise
Genesis Vision has its own token: GVT ( Genesis Vision Token). GVT is based on ERC20 Ethereum token standard.GVT will be used for all investment operations, profit distributions, and managers’ token trading on the internal Exchange.
Along with GVT, each manager will have his own token. The manager’s tokens will only trade on the internal exchanges where users can buy them in exchange of GVT.
The GVT are limited in number and as demand for the platform grows, so does the value of GVTs.
The ICO started on 15th October 2017 and is open till 15th November. 75% of the 44 million tokens are available for the ICO and 1 GVT is valued at 1 USD (hardcap $33 million). A 20% bonus is available for the next 2 days. 40% of the funds raised will be used for product development while 30% are dedicated to marketing. Genesis will be marketing the product heavily amongst users and brokers, hence the higher allocation. The team will keep 11% of the tokens.
The Genesis Vision team ranks highly on credibility. With transparency at the core of the Genesis Vision project, the team had their Initial Coin Offering certified by The Financial Commission successfully. The Financial Commission is “an independent self-regulatory organization and external dispute resolution body, primarily dedicated to Forex.”
Genesis is the first ICO to be certified by the Financial Commission. One of the 3 cofounders Alexey Kutsenko is the CEO of Tools For Brokers. Tools For Brokers (TFB)is a fintech company working exclusively with brokers and has around 300 brokers as clients. The close relations of TFB will facilitate broker participation in Genesis Vision. The other two cofounders Ruslan Kamenskiy and Dmitry Nazarov started working on the project in 2016 and won the HackRussia all-Russian hackathon in the nomination “Finance and Blockchain” with the Genesis Vision project. There are 10 members in the team and 13 prolific advisors, many of them being CEOs and founders of Russia based wealth management companies.
Credibility is always a top priority when looking at ICOs and Genesis has plenty of it.
Genesis builds up on the existing blockchain based asset management firms by enabling a window for traditional assets. Although the initial product focuses only on cryptocurrencies and Forex, many investors will find value in holding multiple fiat and cryptocurrencies together. The concept of each asset manager having his own currency seems really cool and will help attracting many potential traders/analysts. However, there is intense competition in blockchain based asset management space with companies like Melonport already working on betas with a thousand users. We hope Genesis does not lose a significant market when it rolls out its first version in 2019.
- The gateway to traditional assets will not be easy. Genesis will face many regulatory headwinds when it eventually expands in traditional assets beyond Forex. -2
- As mentioned above, Genesis faces intense competition in cryptocurrency asset management space. -3
- Although the concept of asset managers having their own currencies sounds interesting, it makes the project much more complicated. -0.25
- The first version of the product will be released in 2019, which seems a bit stretched. -1
- Although the share Forex asset management is lower than other forms of asset management, it still is humongous considering the total market size of $70 trillion. +4
- Credible management and the advisory team is a big positive. +3
- Genesis already has a solution for trust management market used by 80 financial companies. The working solution is based on a b2b model and is centralized. +3
- Genesis has good relations with around 400 brokers and 50+ wealth management companies. This will help them scale very quickly. +2
We arrive at a score of +5.75 out of 10 for Genesis Vision. There is no softcap and unsold tokens during the ICO will be burned which might result in potential upside in case the hardcap is not reached. Overall we have a positive view of Genesis.
The ICO is live. You can buy the tokens here.
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