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ICO Update: Universa

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Very few ICOs have generated more hype and pent-up demand than Universa, the blockchain project promising to improve on bitcoin and Ethereum through easy-to-produce smart contracts. At its core, Universa is an infrastructure project that could spearhead a much bigger ecosystem of cryptocurrency payments and related tokens.

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As a next-gen blockchain platform, Universa uses contract execution technology and a distributed ledger to improve on existing cryptocurrency systems. These improvements are intended to to boost business adoption across all sectors of society. This imperative is highlighted by the following quote:

Where traditional blockchains transact primarily in currencies, Universa is designed to
support token representation of everything from passports to boarding passes, bus tickets or taxi fares; they can be gift cards, vouchers, or gym membership cards. You might make a token representing your title deed, or just the keys to the house. (Whitepaper)

Furthermore, the platform aims to “implement the most common entity in every business process: a set of referenced contacts, signed and stamped documents, without any of the numerous drawbacks found in other bitcoin-style token-based solutions.”

Universa’s developers describe the platform as a “thin” protocol as opposed to the fat client currently imposed by traditional blockchains. Essentially, this means that every change applied to a contract occurs in a separate contract chain called a “C-Chain,” as opposed to the existing protocol of stacking blocks to make a single ledger.

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The Universa platform is designed to help businesses create a simple protocol for creating blockchains and apps, reduce transaction costs, increase transaction speeds and maintain liquidity and smart contracts on the blockchain. It is essentially a gateway for services that automatically input electronic documents to do so more effectively via smart contracts. Through this protocol, Universa promises to lower transaction costs on a safe and reliable platform.

Ultimately, Universa is an infrastructure project, which means it will serve as the groundwork for future projects that wish to integrate their tokens on the platforms. This means there is a lot riding on this project, and its success can certainly invigorate an entire community of blockchain developers.

Token Sale

The public sale of Universa’s token, UTN, began Oct. 28. up to $99 million USD is slated for acceptance at a price of $0.01 per token. A minimum purchase of $10 is required to participate in the crowdsale.

Funds raised through the project will go mainly toward the Universa protocol, marketing and development and its foundation, which includes OpenBackend, Blockchain Academy and CryptoNation.

The token sale will run until Dec. 12, giving investors plenty of time to enter should they find UTN a worthwhile investment.

Team

Universa is led by the talented Alexander Borodich, who is a technology investor and managing partner of VentureClub. He is also the former head of marketing at Mail.ru Group, which is Russia’s largest technology company.

The leadership team also includes Sergey Chernov, former CTO at Cybiko and 17-year veteran of cryptography, as well as Alex Dovnar, who has spent 20 years in digital marketing. The team has 20 core staff, including developers, event managers, system administrators and a crypto-mathematician (really cool!).

It should also be noted that Universa has landed the services of one John McAfee, who became a project adviser.

Verdict

There’s very little not to like about Universa. As a distributed system for smart contracts, it has the potential to become a digital currency provider without depending on the mining process.

Risks

  • Is Universa asking for too much? There is some concern in the investment community that anybody who wants in on this massive capital raise will be able to enter. It is not yet clear whether this will backfire by lowering demand for the token. -1
  • Russian ICO projects have struggled to get off the ground. Combined with a less than certain regulatory outlook has lead some to question the viability of this massive undertaking. We’ve already seen Chinese projects suffer as a result of ICO bans. Russian authorities have given mixed signals about what they intend to do with coin offerings. -2.5

Growth Potential

  • The Universa platform is a whopping 60 times faster than Ethereum and much, much faster than bitcoin, thereby enabling more extensive use in the business world +3
  • The platform works as a distributed system for smart contracts, which makes it much faster, cheaper and safer than the leading blockchains. It is said that Universa can provide 10,000 transactions per second, compared to just 15 for Ethereum and six for bitcoin. +3
  • Universa has strong use case potential, and is considered a strong candidate for business adoption. This is especially the case when you consider its solutions for instant payment transparency, transfer of ownership and support for several business processes. +3
  • Universa’s partnership with John McAffee is a huge plus for the project and its credibility. +2

Disposition

Universa is widely considered to be Russia’s most promising ICO. The company expects the token sale to generate $100 million. Based on its outstanding technical specifications, real-world applications and investor hype, that figure is certainly attainable.

Against this backdrop, we give Universa a score of 7.5 of out 10, putting it among our best-rated ICOs. Although the ICO has already started, investors still have plenty of time to capitalize.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: UTN
  • Pre-Sale: Sept 2017
  • Opening Sale: Oct. 28, 2017
  • End Date; Dec. 9, 2017
  • Platform: Ethereum/Custom
  • Exchange Rate: $1 USD = 100 UTN
  • Maximum ICO Market Cap: $99 million USD
  • Total Supply: 14 billion UTN (10 billion in circulation)
  • Payments Accepted: Ethereum (ETH)

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. jagrmeister

    October 31, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Universa is living in a parallel Universe if they think it’s still feasible for a company not created by a member of Ethereum’s founding team to raise $100M. A TOTAL of only $200M was spent on ICOs in October (down from $800M in September). Universa being faster is almost meaningless. Ethereum will have 1000x faster on TX than it currently is when Raiden comes online; uRaiden is already in test. Other speed/scalability solutions are on the way. Do we need yet another general purpose blockchain? I also like fact they will send 5% of your funds to some random crypto-country, which is not really a country (the guy keeps getting arrested trying to claim land in Serbia). I hope they raise a lot of money; it will siphon off whatever dumb money is left in crypto-investing.

  2. virtualevil

    November 5, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Yeah, I’m not sold.

    I expect a bit more of a forensic and analytical review on an ICO expecting to raise $100m.

    They’ve already raised $10m in pre-sale, what could they possibly need for another $90m that a small team couldn’t already do.

    Whatever happened to P.H. Madore’s ICO reviews? They were way tougher and thorough, including a look at the technical qualities of each. Referencing coin propaganda websites I can do on my own. I pay real dollars for Hacked.com.

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ICO Analysis: Majato

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Blockchain and Cannabis are the two fasting growing industries one can think of. And it just so happens that they mesh perfectly with each other. Although laws are slowly changing in jurisdictions where cannabis has become legal, traditional banking for this industry remains sketchy, businesses are being forced to deal in cold hard cash. Therefore, tokenizing the entire industry from seed to sale seems like a no-brainer.

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Majato plans to grow and distribute cannabis in countries where it is legal.  On top of that, they will have an interactive platform to unite the cannabis market participants.

“The use of blockchain as the core technology will make all stages of production, distribution and even consumption of cannabis products completely transparent and clear for all market participants.”

They will first launch their project in the United States, specifically California. Their main goal is to have a full scale, seed to sale, production company. They will use their funds raised during the presale to fill out legal paperwork, acquire land, and start producing Cannabis.

The 2nd part of this project is the platform, which will bring together the cannabis industry in general and its standalone participants, including scientific and research labs, producers and suppliers of various cannabis products, equipment, seeds, and consumers. This transparent and secure ecosystem will allow streamlining of product sales, and simplified transactions.

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One of the key goals of the project is to develop a “Gold Quality Standard” which will validate every product as being produced using the best strains, and high quality growing methods. They talk about the “Gold Quality Standard” in the whitepaper for way too long, revealing their own ignorance about the cannabis industry.

The Token

Their ultimate goal is to become the uniform payment instrument for all things cannabis worldwide

According to the  whitepaper, the purpose of the MJT token is the following;

  1. Direct receipt by the MJT Owners of the Product in the form of Final Product or Raw Product in the relevant POS against settlement of the relevant number of the MJT Tokens
  2. Ordering the Product for delivery via the Platform in those Jurisdictions where it is/would be allowed under the law
  3. Discounts on third-party products purchased with MJT token in dispensaries
  4. Use the MJT Token for internal Project purposes and separate matters relating to its implementation (for example, when submitting feedback regarding the quality of the distributed Product).

During the initial stages of sale (i.e. pre-sale and sale) of the MJT token a total number of 60,000,000 MJT Tokens (Project’s hard cap) will be distributed, and the price will be 0,0011 ETH per token during pre-sale and 0,0033 ETH per token during the main sale stage.

Total supply: 60 million (?)

Presale: Dec 20. 10 million MJT token hardcap, 800,000 softcap .0011 ETH per token (currently $0.77) http://majato.io/

ICO sale: Apr 2018.  .0033 ETH per token

All unsold tokens will be burned. And all tokens used to buy cannabis products with from Majato, in the future, will also be burned.

The Team

This team of eight is a hodge-podge of Russian, American, and German lawyers. At least that’s what it looks like, most of them come from a law background including their Founder and CEO, Mike Tretyak. Tretyak, a journeyman IP lawyer, who has no experience in large-scale cannabis farming. In fact, I went into their telegram and asked if any member on their team has experience with growing cannabis? My question got sidestepped, and when I pushed for an answer, I got called rude. I then asked if anyone on their team has worked together and had success in the past? The moderator told me I was out of line to ask such a personal question.

Although it is still just the presale, the lack of community around this team is extremely concerning. There is very little support on their Telegram and Twitter.

It doesn’t seem like they have what it takes to pull off such a massive project as Majato.

The Verdict

As a lifelong cannaseur, who currently is in Colorado, I feel like I am especially qualified to analyze this ICO.

Although owning a piece of this fast growing cannabis industry is an attractive proposition, this particular project is way too far fetched. The legal hurdles they face in order to accomplish what they are trying to do, are probably insurmountable. That being said, they do have a team filled with lawyers, if they defy logic and get this project successful running, the gains for presale investors could be huge.

There is currently no way to legally ship Cannabis. This doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon. Therefore, the only MJT token holders that will be able to benefit by trading their tokens for cannabis, are the ones that live within traveling distance of Majato’s imaginary future Cali stores. This leaves very few benefits for token holders

Risk

  • Pretty sure this project is considered illegal. Having a bunch of contributors to marijuana growing/selling, from different worldwide  jurisdictions, can’t be legal… can it? -3
  • They have absolutely nothing so far, but a whitepaper. They want to produce and distribute cannabis to the entire world, starting with the jurisdictions which its legal. The problem is, it’s illegal to ship cannabis ANYWHERE. They don’t seem very concerned about this. -5
  • As far as I know, nobody on their team has experience with large-scale cannabis farming.  In their whitepaper, they break down what they estimate the production costs will be. It looks amateurish and fake. And it’s obvious they have zero clue how this industry works. They have thousands of dollars set aside in their budget for “seeds”, which is hilarious because they don’t know about cloning. Nowadays plants grown on a large scale are clipped and cloned from a mother plant. Seeds are only used for all natural outdoor grows. -3

Growth Potential

  • A forecast done by Arcview shows the U.S. legal cannabis market will grow by 26% next year, and should hit $21 billion by 2021, $7 bill of that being California alone. This industry will only grow. Majatos roadmap says they will become a full-fledged, cannabis producing company by 2020. Here’s a quick summary of their roadmap +3

Dec 17- Jan 18:  presale

Feb 18- Apr 18: Acquir land, obtain licenses/permits, form corporate structure for implementing project

Apr 18-June 18: stage 2 of the MJT token sale.

July 18- May 19: Production of batch 1 of product, establishing distribution channels, Platform R&D

Dec 18-Dec 19: Commencement of offering product to MJT owners

  • If they have a successful ICO, and follow through, they will first start production in California. As just stated, Cali is forecasted to have over $7 billion in cannabis sales in 2021. It’s a shame this project isn’t specifically for California. It seems way more doable if they kept their focus on just the one jurisdiction +2

Disposition

This ambitious project is too early, mostly illegal, and lead by a less than stellar team. One almost wants to call it the “H” word.  -4 out of 10

Investment details

Presale starts December 20th.

http://majato.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Majato.White_.Paper_.V.2.5.ENG_.pdf

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ICO Analysis: Rentberry

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Rentberry is offering a decentralized home rental platform for long-term rentals, allowing for tenants and landlords to complete all rent-related tasks in a single location, while also eliminating the need for third-party middlemen and all.

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The Rentberry ICO aims to transform the existing Rentberry platform, which has been around since 2015. The current long-term rental platform manages every step of the rental process, including everything from open houses to rent payments.

Rentberry increases transparency for renters employing an auctioning protocol, where tenants can customize their offers based on the competition and demand for a specific property. The protocol also provides landlords a tenant score that is calculated based on reviews, public information, and rental history.

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Rentberry uses the blockchain to deploy their token (BERRY) to the existing Rentberry ecosystem. BERRY is to be used to pay rent and other third party services such as maintenance and housekeeping, as well as allowing roommates to split rent.

Token Distribution

Rentberry plans to use the raised funds to fuel their international expansion and development of new features including the tenant scoring system, advanced apartment search algorithms, and crowdsourced community expansion.

Token: BERRY

Price: 1 ETH = 2,500 BERRY

Platform: Ethereum

Accepting: ETH, BTC

Minimum investment: 0.1 ETH / 250 BERRY

Soft cap: 3,000,000 USD

Hard cap: 30,000,000 USD

Country: USA

Team:

Rentberry has been around since 2015, and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

The CEO, Alex Lubinsky has history as a financial analyst at Cisco, a consultant at Deloitte, and worked at several investment firms.

The CTO, Aleksey Perfilov, studied Computer Science at UC Berkeley, then received a degree in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. He has experience as a software engineer at Phoenix Technologies, Hi5, Altera, and Amazon Music.

Risks:

  • The Rentberry team has quite a bit of work on their hands when it comes to onboarding new tenants. Their proprietary tenant scoring protocol is likely going to need a bunch of data to actually be effective. Being one of the main selling points for landlords, the tenant scoring system is heavily reliant on tenant adoption, which could pose to be a bottleneck to the process. They’re aiming to process 500,000 rental applications with 1,000,000 rental properties in 2018, and then 3.5m rental applications with 6m rental properties in 2019.  -3
  • I’m a bit wary of their ICO bonus structure. I understand use of bonuses to push incentivization, but as new investors hear about the ICO moving forward seeing that they’re getting less favorable terms, they’ll be less likely to buy into the platform. The ICO bonus structure is as follows (-2):
    • Dec 5 – Dec 19 : 1 ETH = 2,500 BERRY + 33% Bonus
    • Dec 20 – Dec 26 : 1 ETH = 2,500 BERRY + 27% Bonus
    • Dec 27 – Jan 16 : 1 ETH = 2,500 BERRY + 20% Bonus
    • Jan 17 – Jan 30 : 1 ETH = 2,500 BERRY + 13% Bonus
    • Jan 31 – Feb 13: 1 ETH = 2,500 BERRY + 7% Bonus

Growth Potential:

  • If you’ve ever rented a place or owned a rental property, you’re likely aware of the headache that comes with each new location or tenant. What I like about Rentberry is that it aims to make the process much smoother. +1
  • As someone who lives in New York City, the concept of rental transparency is hazy at best for me. The city is littered with people on leases who happen to be subleasing to other tenants for more money than the lease is worth. Cities like NYC such as San Francisco are all undergoing their own housing crises for whatever reasons, and a lack of transparency in the rental system isn’t helping at all. If Rentberry can change that, it’ll solve a huge issue. +2
  • BERRY makes it possible for expats and migrants living in other countries to facilitate the process of renting out their properties. +2
  • Rentberry has been around for a few years and has established itself as a relatively successful business. It has over 110,000 users and 180,000 properties. +3
  • The company has also raised over $4 million from a handful of VC funds and high-profile investors from 11 countries. +2
  • Rentberry also noted that it will use 15% of the token sale proceeds to buy short-term rental properties, and everyone who participates in the ICO is going to become a member of the “Rentberry Club.” Buying physical real estate makes sense for this company and it’s a proactive approach to grow their network of assets. It’s also a pretty cool perk for ICO investors. +2

Disposition:

We arrive at a +7 for Rentberry.

I really like the application of the blockchain here to encourage international property owners to interact with their properties anywhere in the world. Rentberry’s team may be capable of solving several issues in the long-term rental space, and if executed correctly, would make life much easier (and more cost and time effective) for hundreds of thousands of tenants and landlords.

Investment Details:

The Rentberry ICO launched on December 5, and will continue until March 1st, 2018.

Check out their website to learn more.

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ICO Analysis: Deepbrain Chain

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Deepbrain Chain will provide a low-cost, private, flexible, secure, and decentralized artificial intelligence computing platform for artificial intelligence products.

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Coming out of China, based on NEO,  Deepbrain Chain is an incredibly difficult whitepaper to read. Many concepts are both lost in translation on paper, and in my simple brain.

I came across a Reddit post from a man named crypto_oxford, who does a great job summarizing.

“It is a data computation platform and a Data trading platform that uses distributed spare computing ressources, makes AI computational demands cheaper, protects against data leakage via hacking, secures the seperation of data ownership and usage rights, and secures intellectual property for the data and for the products.”

They figure to reduce the cost of AI by 70% by making it minable on the blockchain. I cannot verify these claims, I am no expert in this field. Here’s a good example possible investors face when trying to learn about this project.  It sounds great, but what does it really mean?

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“The founding team believes that DeepBrain Chain is a project that has been verified by the market, has huge market scale and significant application value, lets the process and economic value associated, and is gradually issued with the core business sharing storage and the mechanism of computation capacity of mining. Each token corresponds to the computational value of the service provided during its issue, and is a truly valuable asset and digital currency that has already landed. Due to the difficulty of issuing, the value of the flow needed by every new token will increase. The earlier one holds, the more the expected value of the market will be.”

The Token

  • NEO platform (nep 5 token)
  • A max hard cap of $15 million,
  • There’s a total supply of 10 billion Deepbrain Chain (DBT) tokens. 50% of these will be mined over time.
  • 1.5 billion tokens will be for sale
  • 600 million sold during the Presale, which ended 10 days ago, and was almost impossible to get in.
  • Token sale stars Dec 15th. You must fill out a KYC form to be eligible. No USA or China allowed

Only 1.5 billion of the total 10 billion tokens will be for sale.

600 million in the presale, and 900 million in the public sale

Use of funds. 55% R&D, 25% marketing, 10% daily operations, 8 % incentives, 2% patent fees

The Team

Based in China? The team is doing things. They recently won 1st and 2nd place prizes in Academic Sector  & Enterprise of SMP, at the Chinese Man-Machine Dialogue Field Authority Evaluation Contest. This contest had over 30 of Chinas best competing.

Their resume’s check out pretty well. And just look at these faces… JACKPOT!

The Verdict

When it comes to the technical side of this project, I am out of my element. They have a hard cap of $15 million, $6 million of that already came from private investors, one of which being NEO, who funded them $1 million.This gives them serious street cred.

AI  data computation, neuro networks, machine learning, all these concepts are no doubt where our world is going. On Deepbrain Chains platform, one can compute and trade data. They have a working platform with more than 1,000 semantic skills.

Risk

  • This being a Chinese project, on NEO, makes it more susceptible to regulations than other projects. It doesn’t seem likely, but is a risk nonetheless -1
  • The token metrics are funny. Only 15% for sale. They have a whitelist for the presale (which may be filled up by the time readers see this.) They didn’t limit the amount people bought during the presale, and won’t for the public sale either. This could lead to whales owning most of the supply. -2
  • They are having KYC implementation difficulties with their sale. It has been a huge issue in their telegram the last 24 hours. What looks like is happening, is there is no way to verify what customer is connected to what KYC. This could be an in for investors who currently aren’t signed up for the KYC to buy these tokens. These issues could be a bad sign of things to come.-2

Growth Potential

  • The Deepbrain whitepaper states; there have been over 5k startups since 2012, collecting over $22 billion. This is without counting the money large existing companies put into ai, which makes the total amount of money over $100 billion. It is certain that this is just the beginning.+4
  • NEO partnership. NEO alone has an endless amount of growth potential. They have a large community that gets exdcited and involved with the projects NEO backs. This partnership is worth a lot. +3
  • The ICO has a strict KYC rule. This is going to create a tremendous amount of demand for this once it hits exchanges.+2
  • This is a $20 billion industry, that is only growing from here on out.+2

Disposition

The 10 billion supply with only 1.5 billion being sold is scary. However, the rest of the ICO seems to make up for this.  5.8 out of 10

Investment Details

Sale starts Dec 15th, however, you need to fill out the whitelist/KYC app in order to get in. This application is having technical issues which may allow anyone to buy in without previously being KYC whitelisted. It’s worth a shot, but need to hurry!

Sign up here  https://www.deepbrainchain.org/pc/kycEnglish.html

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