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ICO Analysis: ZeroTraffic

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ZeroTraffic is offering a cryptocoin smartphone-based application to help reduce recurrent traffic congestion.

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The way ZeroTraffic works is by utilizing gamification to reward commuters who travel off-peak times with the goal of reducing peak traffic volume. Studies have shown that just a 5 to 10% reduction in traffic volume can significantly reduce congestion and help traffic flow faster.

By incentivizing users to travel using alternative routing schedules, ZeroTraffic has the goal of saving users time and offering them a way to earn prizes, while also helping reduce the traffic load for everyone else.

ZeroTraffic plans to offer non-monetary incentives such as points, badges, levels, and status, while working with sponsors and media who can award fuel, product discounts, and recognition.

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The benefits of ZeroTraffic go beyond saving a few hours of travel a week. ZeroTraffic aims to create the end result of an effective tool that can influence driver behaviour with very low operational costs. This is something many major cities have struggled and fail to do for decades.

If you’ve ever been brave enough to get behind the wheel of a car around rush hour time in cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, or Austin, you can understand the potential of ZeroTraffic.

On average, traffic congestion costs Americans $124 billion dollars a year in direct and indirect losses, and the number is expected to rise to $186 billion in 2030. A conservative estimate for the traffic costs in Canada are around $4.6 billion annually.

Zero Traffic utilizes a virtual transponder application (a GPS-enabled smartphone app) to calculate the metrics used for the award points people get. The parameters are based on exclusion zones, home and work addresses, and congestion zones defined by transportation authorities.

Team

ZeroTraffic is owned by the parent company Array Systems Computing Inc. with headquarters in Toronto and Ontario, Canada.

Array Systems Computing Inc, founded in 1981, has played an integral role in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and is the builder of the COMPASS software used by MTO to manage incidents on all the highways in Ontario.

The CEO and President, Stuart Berkowitz founded Array Systems in 1981 while he was a Ph.D student at the University of Toronto. Additionally, Berkowitz has a BSc in Computer Science from Cornell, and a MS in Mathematics from the University of Illinois. Berkowitz has experience operating and selling Array Telecom Inc to Comdial in 1998, and VoiceGenie Technologies Inc to Alcatel in 2006.

ZTT Tokens

The ZeroTraffic platform is based on the use and ownership of ZTT tokens.

Investors with a minimum of 1250 ZTT become a “Deputy Mayor” and can buy a specific district they are able to advise the ZeroTraffic team on the congested regions.

Image from TrafficZero Whitepaper

Investors can specify the center of a circle of any size greater than ½ km radius, with the smallest circles costing 1250 ZTT (the coin which can be purchased using Ether). Investors are capable of selling the ZTT, or hold onto them to get a district dividend of up to 4% based on territory size. In a post on Reddit, the team stated that after 5 years they may even offer a buyback option at the market price.

This is interesting because it allows people to take specific ownership of improving traffic patterns in their communities; a direct incentive for the daily commuter.

The pricing for the ZTT ICO is tiered based on weeks away from the end date, with the first week price at around 250 ZTT/ETH, with the price increasing at around 26% per week and 3.6% raised ZTT in multiples of $4M.

Distribution

ZeroTraffic plans to offer up to 80,000,000 ZTT in the sale, with a total maximum token supply of 300,000,000 ZTT. The minimum ZTT offered in the sale is 4,000,000.

The fact that ZeroTraffic set a total maximum token supply is a favorable quality, but 300,000,000 is a fairly large maximum token supply.

The 80,000,000 ZTT offered in the sale add up to a lofty goal of about $91,200,000 based on the Ethereum price of around $285.

ZeroTraffic Progress

The ZeroTraffic team plans to roll out its project in 12 months in four separate phases:

From the Zero Traffic whitepaper:

  1. Implementation phase: will last 8 months. During this

Phase, the virtual transponder application and the gamified ZeroTraffic website will be implemented.

  1. Evaluation Phase: planned to be of 2 months duration. The readiness of the system for release to the public will be evaluated during the evaluation phase. Updates to the virtual transponder app and the gamified ZeroTraffic website will be made as needed.
  2. Production Roll-Out Phase: planned to be of 2 months duration. ZeroTraffic

will be rolled out over all territories over this period. Updates to the virtual transponder app and the gamified ZeroTraffic website will be made as needed.

  1. Operation Phase: ZeroTraffic: will be fully operational and supported across all territories. Data and results will be collected and analyzed. Improvements will be made to the virtual app and the website as necessary.

The Verdict

While I do believe that ZeroTraffic is tackling a substantial problem and potentially lucrative investment opportunity, it seems that the team really does have its work cut out for them. On the basis that the ZeroTraffic team can execute everything they are aiming to, they will do a great service to their investors, commuters, and society in general.

That being said, there are a few important things to note.

Risk

  • One of the greatest risks in my opinion is that the ZeroTraffic site and whitepaper constantly reference the importance of hitting 10% of commuters in order to achieve behavior modification. It seems that they’ve locked themselves into a “chicken and egg” problem, where initial users and investors won’t see the direct benefits other than a potentially beneficial change in their personal traffic patterns. Objectively, 10% is a very big chunk of the millions of cars on the road during rush hours. -2
  • People may be locked into their commuting schedules. There isn’t much ZeroTraffic can influence if many people need to go to work and leave at the traditional 9 to 5 time. -1
  • Lack of marketing experience on the team. While the ZeroTraffic team does have some significant firepower in building and innovating the project, I don’t see any substantial marketing force that could help them reach massive user adoption. -3
  • The history of the parent company is mainly linked with providing software solutions to government institutions, and the government adoption route can be an incredibly red-tape laced process, especially for a Toronto-based company trying to tackle traffic in some of the most densely populated cities in the United States. -3
  • The use of non-monetary incentives for commuters might be slightly on the idealistic side. The whitepaper claims that the gamification aspect of offering points, badges, levels, status, etc will be “addictive like computer games because we will seek to put users on a dopamine treadmill.” While this may be appealing to some users, ZeroTraffic needs user adoption on a much more massive scale and the preference for non-monetary rewards could be a bit overemphasized. -2

Growth Potential

  • I’ll be the first to say that I absolutely abhor traffic, and I’m far from being the only one. It’s an antiquated dinosaur approach to work commuting and is reflective of one of the biggest inefficiencies in society. It’s not only an issue limited to a handful of countries either. Traffic is a global nuisance. There has also been extremely limited efforts to change this by government agencies. We’ve gotten to the point that entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk are planning to dig underground tunnels just to minimize the problem in select cities. That’s why the growth potential for ZeroTraffic is huge. +3
  • Although the huge maximum token supply of 300,000,000 ZTT makes me a bit uneasy in terms of capital gains, I like the idea of a 4% annual dividend based on territory size. +3
  • If executed properly, the gamification aspect can be a gamechanger. ZeroTraffic essentially provides commuters an interesting incentive to travel at a different time, and it gives investors the opportunity to own a small district and take a small piece of responsibility for their community. +3
  • I’ve yet to see any schematics of the app, but from what I’ve read in the whitepaper it sounds like it’s going to be a very user-friendly “set and forget” sort of app. It also utilizes the fact that nearly everybody has a smartphone, and aims to modify user behaviors using this at an extremely cost effective rate. +2
  • It could save governments a ton of money. Building roads and using tolls is an extremely expensive and unpopular way to deal with the increase of traffic. The ZeroTraffic team also has experience in dealing with government institutions. +2

Disposition

We arrive at a +2 of 10 for ZeroTraffic. The concept, team, and massive traffic problem they are looking to tackle give ZeroTraffic a ton of positive points. However, at the other end of the spectrum, there are a lot of things that the team has to execute in order to achieve substantial success.

Investment Details

The ICO ends in 22 days. To see more details on the ongoing sale, go to https://www.zerotraffic.io/crowdsale.

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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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. jagrmeister

    September 23, 2017 at 10:44 am

    A 6 is a seriously high score when it comes to Hacked; I’m not sure this ICO warrants it.

    >Investors with a minimum of 1250 ZTT become a “Deputy Mayor” and can buy a specific district they are able to advise the ZeroTraffic team on the congested regions.

    So you pay tokens just to be able to “advise” the company on busy regions? You pay to do work for them? This instance is just an example of the entire project’s inability to understand human nature and incentives. While it’s everyone’s goal to reduce traffic, it’s not clear how everyone contributes financially to make it happen; the logical path is to work with municipal governments and agencies but that is a long sales cycle and city planners have a lot on their plate besides business development with an app like this.

    People will not take alternative routes for virtual badges; at least not enough to reach critical mass described above.

    This whole project seems poorly thought out; more like an undergraduate student’s paper for an urban planning course, full of noble intention but lacking practical business sense.

  2. cryptonoob

    September 25, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Seriously 300M tokens and a 250 ZTT / ETH ratio is an enourmous deal breaker.
    And you give it a 6 ?

    • Alex Moskov

      September 26, 2017 at 10:50 am

      After further analyzing the scoring gradient, I updated the ZeroTraffic score to a +2, that should be a bit more accurate.

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ICO Analysis: Medicalchain

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Medicalchain is aiming to disrupt data management in the healthcare industry using decentralization and the blockchain technology.

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Despite the world being in the midst of a data revolution, medical data is yet to catch up with other industries. From centralization, to slow speeds and vulnerable networks, healthcare systems have not evolved along with other industries.

Medicalchain is solving four significant issues with the current state of healthcare data storage.

  • Interoperability: Health data contained in legacy systems is fragmented because of varying systems and formats. There is no single version of truth which can be used and accessed by all the stakeholders.
  • Security and Fraud: Sensitive information about patients is stored in centralized legacy servers. WannaCry attack crippled the NHS with an attack on more than 230K computer systems. Medical data is sold on the dark web for almost 10x the price of credit card info.
  • Data storage: Medical data is usually controlled by a single entity which results in high dependency on that system. NHS recently lost the medical records of around 700K patients putting their health at risk.
  • Privacy control: Patients have no control over who uses and accesses their medical information.

Medicalchain’s decentralized platform enables secure, fast and transparent exchange and usage of medical data using the blockchain technology. The platform is built using a dual blockchain structure. The first blockchain controls access to health records and is built using Hyperledger Fabric. The second blockchain is powered by an ERC20 token on Ethereum and underlies all the applications and services for the platform.

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Hyperledger fabric allows access control and multiple layers of permissions which is ideal for the privacy control use case. Only the patients can access their medical data while blockchain makes it immutable to hacks and breaches.

Medicalchain is not just a platform to store and access medical data but provides an infrastructure for digital health application and services to be built on top of the healthcare database. The company is currently developing two applications to work alongside the platform: a doctor-to-patient telemedicine application and a health data marketplace. Going ahead, Medicalchain aims to serve as an ecosystem for decentralized healthcare applications. A closed beta platform will be launched in February of this year.

Token

The ERC20 MedToken will be used to access and pay for applications built on top of the Medicalchain data. When conducting telemedicine consultations (using the Telemedicine application), patients will pay the doctors using MedTokens.

Pharmaceutical organizations will pay the patients in the form of MedTokens if the patients provide them access to his medical history using the marketplace application.
Users will use MedTokens for a variety of other applications and services that will be developed on Medicalchain’s platform.

Team

Co-founder Dr. Abdullah Albeyatti created an application called Discharge Summary in 2016 to generate accurate medical reports on patients, before they are discharged. He created these frameworks to create standardization in medical reports. Discharge Summary is being used in 3 hospitals in the UK. Discharge Summary is a very small component of Medicalchain, and contrary to many claims, it would be inappropriate to suggest that Medicalchain is being tested in 3 hospitals.

The other Co-founder Mo Tayeb is a tech entrepreneur and has previously founded technology, finance, and e-commerce companies.

There are 13 members in the team with extensive experience in healthcare and tech.

Medicalchain has eight advisors which include healthcare professionals and blockchain specialists.

Verdict

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States; add to it the woes faced by NHS in 2017, we can conclude that Medicalchain is working on a real problem which needs immediate solutions. The team looks solid with a mix of both healthcare and technology.
Medicalchain also scores well on the hype factor, with more than 10K members on the Telegram group a couple of weeks before the ICO.
But as with any industry with solid blockchain use case, there are many current and upcoming projects competing with Medicalchain.

Medicalchain vs. competition?
The most well-known project in this space is Patientory. Patientory differs from Medicalchain in 2 major aspects. Patientory is primarily focused in the US, while Medicalchain has global ambitions. After initial testing in the US and the UK, Medicalchain will expand in other geographies in this year itself. Another major differentiator is that Medicalchain follows a bottom-up approach, where they plan to integrate patients and doctors onto the platform and then make the platform functional using the Telemedicine application. Patientory follows a top-down approach and is trying to partner with establishments, hospitals, healthcare organizations. We have a favorable view of the bottom-up approach, as it makes the project less dependent on partnerships and can be readily operational.

Medibloc is another platform operating in the same sector. Medibloc is based on Qtum while Medicalchain’s data layer is based on hyperledger fabric, which we feel is more suitable for this use case. We also think Medicalchain’s team more capable than either of these projects.

Overall Medicalchain is a good project on the conceptual level, but some concerns start to emerge once you think about executing it on scale. We will discuss some of these concerns in the Risks section.

Risks

  • The team will have to interact with multiple entities including the doctors, patients, pharmacies, insurers.
    Bringing all these entities on board and convincing them about the potential benefits won’t be an easy task. -2
  • Interacting with the regulatory authorities of each region will have its own difficulties. Each geography has its specific laws and regulations when it comes to medical data. E.g., in the US, the patients do not necessarily own their medical data, the hospitals and the clinicians have the right over it. The UK has a central healthcare database, but Medicalchain will need to extract data from the UK’s central servers which are based on subpar technology. -3
  • Medicalchain is expected to face significant competition in the future. Tech giants like IBM are actively exploring blockchain solutions for the healthcare industry. IBM recently collaborated with major insurers in India for blockchain solutions. -1

Growth Potential

  • The project fares better regarding the team, roadmap, and vision against the existing competition. Co-founder Dr. Abdullah Albeyatti has been working in this direction since 2016. +5
  • There is a significant growth potential for blockchain solutions in the healthcare industry, especially in the Healthcare data segment. Considering the issues that NHS had to face in the past year, UK seems like ideal geography to begin operations. +4
  • Medicalchain is also creating an application layer to build medical applications. The Telemedicine application and the health data marketplace differentiates it from other similar services and will create a pathway for future healthcare applications to be launched on the platform. +3

Disposition

We arrive at a score of +6 for Medicalchain. The score captures the growth potential of the project but also incorporates some execution level concerns.

Investment Details

  • Token Type: Utility
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Symbol: MEDTOKEN
  • Pre-sale: Sold out
  • Public sale: 1 February 2018
  • Initial value: 1 MEDTOKEN = 0.25 USD
  • Hard cap: 24,000,000 USD
  • Total Tokens: 500,000,000
  • Available for Token Sale: 35%
  • Website link: http://medicalchain.com/
  • Jurisdictions Barred from Participating: U.S

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: Electrify.Asia

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Electricity

According to the Globalist, “developing countries in Asia are now entering their most energy-intensive phase of development. In line with rising living standards, they increase their consumption for industrialization, infrastructure, transportation and development.”

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Analysts expect that by 2030, half of the demand in energy markets will come from China and India – the other countries in Asia will also make up significant percentage of demand. With this in mind, Asian countries will need to provide consumers with energy security at affordable prices. If they don’t, they won’t be able to meet the burgeoning demand of their rapidly growing populations. However, energy security at affordable prices is very difficult to accomplish.

In light of this, Electrify.Asia is looking to capitalize on Asia’s growing energy security needs. The company aims to “enable the decentralization of power production and bring the power of choice to the consumer.” Essentially, Electrify.Asia is using blockchain technology to disrupt the massive energy industry in Asia by providing both transparency and lower prices to consumers.

Token:

The Electrify.Asia token (ELEC) will be implemented using the Ethereum ERC20. ELEC holders generate value from the token in three ways: (1) loyalty rewards for consumers, (2) the ability to pay transaction fees, and (3) the ability to pay listing deposits for access to Electrify.Asia’s ecosystem.

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According to the white paper, 54% of the funds raised will go towards development, technology and research, 20% towards staffing (HR), 10% towards legal and accounting, 10% towards business development and partnerships, and the rest of the pot (6%) towards operations.

ELEC tokens are valued at $0.08 per 1 ELEC token. The total amount of tokens to be sold is capped at 375,000,000 ELEC. However, the total token supply will capped at 750,000,000 ELEC. The token distribution is as follows: 50% for token sale, 18.4% for team and future members (vesting: 50% at each 6 month interval), 9.0% for advisors and partners, 18.5% for treasury and community development, and 4.1% for airdrop to the community.

The company has not yet stated its intention to list the ELEC tokens on any major crypto exchanges.  

Team:

Electrify.Asia’s core team consists of two senior executives, three business development professionals, two developers, and an operations professional. As compared with the majority of ICOs, Electrify.Asia has a relatively solid team.  

The company’s CEO, Julius Tan, was previously a Solar Research Engineer at the National University of Singapore and an energy trader at an unspecified energy company. Tan has also held a variety of positions at the Singapore Economic Development Board, Standard Chartered Bank and Schlumberger. Additionally, Tan received a BA and MA in Engineering at the University of Cambridge. The company’s COO, Martin Lim, is a 20+ year veteran of the mass communication industry. Lim has worked at a variety of companies including: InMobi, HTC, StarMedia, and Sunseap Energy.

The company’s advisors include the CEO of Omise, a VC executive, a solar executive, an AI/ML researcher, a software engineer, and a compliance executive.

Verdict:

Electrify.Asia presents a highly speculative buying opportunity for investors interested in long-term capital appreciation.  

Energy security is the foundation for developing Asia’s economic transformation, prosperity and development. By decentralizing energy markets across Asia, the company will provide a much needed reform that will lower costs and bring energy security to many emerging market consumers.

However, the primary concern is market adoption across developing Asia. While Electrify.Asia’s technology has a strong potential to be adopted across the developed countries in Asia-Pacific (Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Australia), developing countries across Asia are likely many years away from accepting the technology that the company offers.

Basically, there’s a lot of risk for the company in the developing countries across Asia. In contrast, developed countries in the Asia-Pacific region will likely be open to using the technology. While Electrify.Asia has a strong chance of being successful across developed markets, the company will face many tough hurdles in expanding into some of their target markets (such as: Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Thailand, China, India, etc.).

Risks:

Scaling across Asia is a long and costly process. Each country requires localization, on-the-ground teams, and extensive regulatory compliance. The company’s team may be underestimating the total time and cost of their overall strategy – it’s likely to be much greater than expected. -2

Energy markets in South East Asia are highly regulated and still have infrastructure gaps. While Singapore may be the first country in the region to liberalize its energy market, developing countries (such as: Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.) still lack the infrastructure to be able to do so. Meaning, the company’s technology may be too early for their target markets. -2

Beyond technology risk, market adoption risk runs high for Electrify.Asia. Unless governments across Asia liberalize their energy markets, there is no incentive for energy companies to adopt the added expense of using Electrify.Asia’s platform/ecosystem. -1

Localization in emerging markets will require the company to be able to accept over-the-counter cash payments – many emerging market consumers do not use or have access to credit cards. This will require many strategic partnerships across Asia and is not mentioned as a strategy in the white paper. -1

Growth Opportunity:

Provided the company can successfully scale across Asia, the company will benefit from a large and diverse customer base that is increasingly becoming wealthier and larger (relative to the anaemic growth in the West). With this in mind, global spending by the middle class is expected to reach $35 trillion by 2020 and $56 trillion by 2030 – over 80% of this growth is coming from Asia. Asia’s emerging middle class is shifting the world’s consumer spending paradigm (they’re demanding higher transparency) – Electrify.Asia will be a prime beneficiary of this shift, since energy markets are currently opaque. +4

According to the Asian Development Bank, “annual energy expenditure in Asia is expected to grow from US$700 billion to $US1.6 trillion by 2035.” The company stands to benefit from a large, rapidly growing market that is characterized by significant greenfield opportunities and long-term growth potential. +4  

As developed markets in Asia liberalize their energy markets, Electrify.Asia doesn’t have any real competition to tend with. Basically, the company will benefit from a significant first-mover advantage. +4

Disposition:

Electrify.Asia has a great vision and a solid team, however the company’s technology may be too early for many developing countries across Asia. Provided the company can shift focus to solely the developed countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore), the company will have a strong potential to become successful.

Beyond technology risk, execution risk and the amount of capital needed for large-scale geographical expansion is being understated by the company – a hard cap of $30M isn’t nearly enough. Additionally, there’s a lot of unanswered questions related to the company’s business development model and approach to strategic partnerships.

Overall, even though technology, market adoption, and execution risk runs high, the company still stands a chance to be the dominant player in the newly liberalized energy markets across developed Asia.

Against this backdrop, we believe that a score of 6 out of 10 is warranted.

Investment Details:

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: ELEC
  • Pre-Sale: N/A
  • Public Sale: February 23, 2018
  • Payments Accepted: ETH

Disclaimer: The writer has no position in Electrify.Asia at the time of writing.

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: COTI

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The global payments industry comprises of many different entities, intermediaries, clearing houses, banks processors, gateways, and of course merchants and consumers. COTI is striving to become the de facto payment mechanism for merchants to transmit business in cryptocurrency (their own, XCT, as well as others) and fiat. The COTI overview paper states: “The COTI team was formed to fill this void. COTI combines the best of traditional payments systems with the best of digital currencies — while working around their respective limitations — to provide a comprehensive payments solution that optimizes for the needs of typical consumers and merchants above all else”.

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For those of you that are unfamiliar with the payments industry, there are certain entities involved when conducting payment transactions using traditional payment rails and the use of card brands like Visa and MasterCard. Let’s go through the traditional process; there is a cardholder, aka the consumer, as well as the merchant who wishes to accept payment for products or services and obtains a merchant account to do so. A payment gateway authorizes credit card payments and is what securely transfers payment information between the merchant’s website or POS machine and merchant account. The payment processor works to process the credit card transaction from start to finish. It does this by connecting the merchant account with the payment gateway so it can receive the transaction details and it also connects the gateway to the Credit Card Network for authorization from the issuing bank. The issuing bank issues credit cards to consumers. They are responsible for paying the acquiring bank for the purchases their cardholders make.

The credit card network helps to connect the issuing and acquiring banks by routing the appropriate transaction information between the two banks. The acquiring bank is also referred to as the merchant bank because they create and maintain merchant accounts that allow a merchant’s business to accept credit and debit cards. So, if you ever wondered what happens when you swipe your card, there you go. As you can see, there are lots of opportunity for blockchain based companies in this space because of the multiple entity transaction chains currently involved. These chains drive up costs in the form of fees to the merchant. The question is, how does COTI fit into this trillion dollar industry?  

The overview paper was very well written with detailed descriptions of applications and services of the organization, including a wallet with an internal exchange and virtual debit card for consumers, processing tools for merchants which looks like a virtual gateway and a platform for mediators to review disputes within their network. The COTI fee structure is based on a Trust Score derived from the transaction history of that individual or merchant. 

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The company also states:

“In addition to taking measures to counter Trust Score manipulation, COTI ensures that parties with low Trust Scores have a clear path to achieving higher Trust Scores. COTI has no intention of enforcing low Trust Scores on any one party in perpetuity, and actively encourages network participants to engage in organic, good-faith efforts to increase their scores. If a low-scoring party can demonstrate its value to the network by engaging in honest, trustworthy conduct, over time this value will be reflected in the party’s Trust Score.”

Token

The token is a native currency called XCT; the company has not determined which blockchain they will be connecting to their internal ledger platform per the white paper. COTI’s native digital currency sits at the center of the COTI network and fuels the interactions between consumers, merchants and mediators. XCT was purpose-built to overcome the barriers that have limited the widespread adoption of digital currencies in day-to-day payments. All fees incurred in the course of using the COTI network are payable in XCT. The levying of fees denominated in XCT applies to all transactions, irrespective of the currency being used to affect the underlying payment. Mediator stakes and payouts are always denominated in XCT. As such, mediators will be required to hold XCT units whenever they wish to engage in mediation. XCT functions as a medium of exchange that can be used when making and receiving payments for goods or services.

Team

The core team comprises a few individuals with both a background in payments and the tech sector as well as previous startup experience. The company looks to have many more advisors than core staff, including those from the academic area, banking and payments space to shepherd the project along. Several advisors were also featured in the company’s promo video and are also being featured on the token sale site before the core team. This makes the optics seem like the advisors are the actual team when that is not the case.

Verdict

Risks

  • There are initial doubts about the level of adoption by mainstream merchants – why this crypto payment option compared to all of the others?. –1
  • No mention of target customer segment. The payments industry is massive and this needs to be niche to start if there is any hopes of adoption and eventually network effects. -1.5
  • We are skeptical of the trust score to determine fees of the network. There are claims about stopping trust score manipulation but I wonder about those average consumers without transaction history why is this network attractive for them? –1

Growth Potential 

  • Adding buyer and seller protections through mediators is a strong play for gaps in the existing digital currency area. + 2  
  • COTI will be able to handle a high throughput of transactions from the outset, initially in the order of 10,000 transactions per second (TPS), and its architecture will be able to scale to accommodate far higher throughputs. All transactions will be confirmed instantly +3
  • Low to zero fee approach can attract existing high-risk merchants who can pay fees upwards of 10%. This would be your adult entertainment, online pharmacy, CBD merchants, etc. COTI may prove as a viable option for them but no mention of target segment was revealed. + 3
  • The project claims high approval rates for cross-border e-commerce transactions, which will yield lower cart abandonment rates for e-commerce merchants and higher conversions. +2

Disposition

Based on the above analysis, we arrive at a score of 6.5 out of 10 for COTI. The project has potential to add scalability to the crypto-payments space with the 10,000 TPS upon launch. The technology, the stack of backers, advisors, and concept look strong but can the organization drive merchant adoption? When will there be revenue realized and transactions happening in volumes to produce revenues to generate value for the XCT currency? These are key considerations that are still up in the air.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: XCT
  • Token Sale: ?
  • Platform: ?
  • Tokens Available Via ICO: ?
  • Token Price: ?

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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