ICO Update: Trendercoin

The continent of Africa has been conceptualized as the final frontier of global development. A booming population, increased internet penetration and growing access to an international market suggest Africa has significant potential to mobilize its economic potential.

Though faced with a myriad of challenges, Africa is also home to plenty of opportunity. One such opportunity centers on the growing trend of internet users seeking to monetize their content. It is estimated that internet usage is now prevalent among 400 million Africans. As youth continue to dominate this market, and the region’s demographics as a whole, the internet is expected to radically transform the continent’s trillion-dollar consumer spending industry.

This is happening along multiple strata, including music apparently. Africa’s music culture is one of the world’s most vibrant, making it primed to capitalize on the marriage between youth demographics and the internet. Of course, content monetization extends far beyond music to include other forms of content production.

As one might expect, there are many hurdles preventing Africa’s content developers from monetizing their work and building a consumer-driven economy around music and lifestyle. Poor infrastructure, lack of transparency and high fees have blocked the development of the content sector within Africa.

It is against this backdrop that the Trender project emerges. Trender not only identifies these and other issues facing Africa’s creative industries, it focuses on the lack of power generation and distribution inhibiting the region’s development objectives. Although Africa faces several development challenges, a lack of power generation is among the most critical. Trender identifies “many phases to the power problem,” and posits alternative energy distributed through the blockchain as a viable solution.

Of course, a project of this magnitude runs into implementation risks, which means it requires a clearly defined strategy. The short whitepaper provided by Trender does not provide that, and this was further confirmed by one of the team members, who said that the initial phase of the crowdraise was very much an awareness-raising exercise. Without a solid proof of concept, how does one plan to raise capital? More on that later.

The Token

Trendercoin (TDC) is an ERC-20 equipped utility token that claims to help implement the distribution challenges faced by businesses and customers in Africa and elsewhere. The token enables the buying and selling of major cryptocurrencies in emerging markets at affordable rates by essentially removing the need for a middleman.

The proceeds from the token sale will go toward the following initiatives:

  • Platform development (35%)
  • Marketing (25%)
  • Operation (10%)
  • Compliance (10%)
  • Independent label/event management (20%)

The Team

We’d love to tell you more about the team, but beyond a LinkedIn search, not much is known. Company co-founder Zhaleh Forouzan appears to be an interior design consultant in Tanzenia. Co-founder Seyi J. Olusakin provides much of the IT support.

The company also has an advisor by the name of Alfred McWest, who appears to be a legal translator for the United Nations.

Verdict

Trendercoin is an ambitious project with many great ideas, but one that ultimately loses direction. Investors should carefully weigh the following risks and opportunities before entering the market for TDC.

Although the value proposition of content creators and musicians is fairly well stated, it may be worthwhile to target the rest of Africa’s soon-to-be trillion-dollar consumer spending industry.

Risks

  • Though not necessarily a risk, the whitepaper and website content have numerous grammatical, syntax and stylistic errors that are part and parcel of some of the earlier ICOs. The whitepaper is also quite limited, omitting key information about the company or its members.
  • After considerable time searching, the author could not turn up much information about the company’s team. For the information that was found, there doesn’t appear to be any direct links with blockchain or token raises. -2
  • At times, the author lost track of the ICO’s underlying objective. Is Trendercoin aiming to boost Africa’s content industries, or is it primarily focused on solving distribution challenges in emerging markets? I understand that these objectives aren’t mutually exclusive, but the continuity between African creative and energy distribution challenges in other emerging markets appears to be lacking. -2
  • Trendercoin has a lot of viable ideas, but the author feels the company is trying to do too much without a proven business model. The website lists the following projects facilitated through TDC: fiat and SMS payment integration; energy infrastructure integration; music streaming and events app, and; decentralized power project. The whitepaper spoke at length about music and events, while also mentioning power infrastructure. Although the whitepaper does provide a timeline of what gets prioritized first, a project of this stature could run into implementation risks. Without a proof of concept, it’s difficult to back such a venture.-2

Opportunities

  • Based on the whitepaper, the Trender token has global aspirations extending beyond Africa toward emerging markets. This may just be semantics, but it seems like the platform seeks to solve real world distribution problems in various locales. Sectors such as energy infrastructure integration and decentralized power have the potential to become highly lucrative in emerging markets. +2
  • Africa does indeed represent the next frontier of many industries. We were surprised to learn just how quickly the continent’s consumer segment was growing. A strategy that understands the local market and can capitalize on this massive growth curve in consumer spending has a good opportunity to achieve success. +3.5
  • Unbanked populations are a huge source of potential growth for financial services. Trendercoin is attempting to reach these pockets via fiat and cryptocurrency payment integration. The author feels this service alone could drive the entire project and do so successfully. +3

Disposition

Based on the information presented to us, it would be difficult to justify a score higher than 2.5 out of 10 for Trendercoin. There seems to be too many gaps in the business model (proof of concept?) and the team driving the vision forward. As readers can clearly see, most of the points were allocated to Africa’s potential as an emerging market. The score may be adjusted should members of the team provide Hacked with additional clarity.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: TDC
  • Token Sale: Nov. 14, 2017 – Dec. 12, 2017
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Total Supply: 1,000,000,000 TDC
  • Exchange Rate: Pre-ICO (1 ETH = 15,000 TDC); ICO (1 ETH = 9,000 TDC); Closed Event (1 ETH = 20,000 TDC)

Disclaimer: Writer has no investment stake in Trendercoin at the time of writing.

*Note: Total supply was revised to 1,000,000,000 TDC on Dec. 5 based on revised whitepaper.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi

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