Toju Ometoruwa

@tojuometoruwa

Blockchain.io Review: A Gateway to the Internet of Value

The emergence of Bitcoin has allowed us to imagine a future in which thousands of cryptocurrencies that each serve a unique purpose will exist. In this future, people will be free to exchange digital currencies as seamlessly as one can exchange information over the Internet today.

Blockhain.io (BCIO) is a next generation cryptocurrency exchange that aims to facilitate this process, leveraging the latest developments in cross-chain atomic swaps, cryptographic protocols, and payment networks such as Lightning and Raiden to establish a bridge between different blockchain networks.

The company will host an ICO that ends on October 14th. Their goal is to raise a hard cap of 60m Euros ($69.8m).

With a team of cryptocurrency experts who previously founded Paymium (a fiat/Bitcoin exchange for the Euro market), BCIO aims to capitalize on the regulatory, reliability and security shortcomings of today’s cryptocurrency exchanges.

Core Features

BCIO provides 3 core features: Centralized Exchange, Decentralized Settlement and Liquidity services.

Centralized Exchange

BCIO’s centralized exchange offers a full stack of features, including asset custody services, order booking and order matching.

For asset custody, funds are kept safe in cold storage wallets that require multiple signatures to access. The exchange uses a cryptographic proof of reserve, which is proof that it holds an amount of crypto assets that is equal to or more than what is owed to customers.

BCIO also conducts periodic financial and technical audits to ensure that the database is tamper proof and that the inventory of coins matches the records of liabilities with cryptographic proof.

Decentralized Settlement

BCIO uses decentralized ‘cross chain’ settlement achieved through ‘atomic swaps’.

Atomic swaps enable the exchange of cryptocurrencies from different Blockchains without needing a centralized intermediary. This reduces inefficiency and provides more flexibility for users to exchange cryptocurrencies based on POW, POS, DAG, and other protocols in a truly peer-to-peer fashion.

Atomic swaps work by forging a Hash TimeLock contract (otherwise known as a time-bound smart contract) between trading participants. Each participant must acknowledge receipt of funds within a specified timeframe using a cryptographic hash function, otherwise the transaction is cancelled.

Blockchain.io leverages the R&D from Lightning network, Tumblebit, and Rootstock to advance their atomic swap capabilities and improve scalability.

Liquidity Services

BCIO also provides listing services for tokens based on specific technology and business model qualifications assessed through strict due diligence. Companies can also plan and execute ICO marketing campaigns through blockchain.io.

Other Features

Lending

Peer to peer:

Traders can borrow funds from other users to conduct margin trades. Lenders will earn interest on loans and interest rates are based on demand and supply.

Proprietary Lending:

BCIO will also lend cryptocurrencies funds to platform users/traders using a centralized order book. Interest will be determined by demand and supply.

Compliance

BCIO hires independent auditors to ensure integrity of the platform. The exchange also complies with EU regulations, including asset inventory, KYC and AML regulations.

Business Model

BCIO generates revenue by charging trading fees, withdrawal fees, fees on E-commerce and in-store payment transactions, collecting interest on loans, consulting and transaction fees for ICO services, and coin listing fees.

Partnership with Paymium

BCIO will only serve as a cryptocurrency exchange, but through their partnership with Paymium, BCIO users will gain access to a fiat currency gateway.

Investors who hold fiat (first EURO, with USD, GBP, JPY to folllow in the near future) will be able to buy Bitcoin, Ether or BCIO tokens using Paymium. These investors can subsequently become part of the BCIO community and can transfer coins/tokens between platforms free of charge.

Roadmap

Team

BCIO’s team consists of cryptocurrency experts who founded Paymium 7 years ago, a fiat/bitcoin exchange catering to the underserved Euro market.

Pierre is the CEO of Paymium. He is a recognized expert in the crypto space who has been working on cryptography applied to digital television services before Bitcoin was invented. He has also written many books and spoken at high profile conferences about Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. Pierre holds an MSc from Ecole Polytechnique in France and a MBA Degree from Columbia University in New York.

Dominique has been a highly skilled researcher for more than 15 years, and part of the French Atomic Energy commission.

He is an expert in cloud computing and holds two patents in distributed cloud computing and security. Dominique graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure of Cachan and holds a PhD in numerical simulation & high performance parallel computing from the École Centrale of Paris.

Pierre is a strategic planner with both consulting and entrepreneurial experience in the financial sector. Pierre holds a Master in Management in Corporate Finance and Financial Markets from EDHEC Business School.

Laetitia has 10 years of experience in finance management and control. She has worked in Canada, US, and France; and is an expert in international business management. Laetitia holds a Master in Financial Management & Controlling from ESSEC Business School.

Advisors

BCIO has recruited an advisory team of seasoned entrepreneurs and finance experts

Pros

- Combines centralized exchange functions with decentralized settlement

- Utilizes atomic swaps to enable efficient value exchange between cryptocurrencies from multiple blockchain networks

- Reliable Infrastructure: Minimal downtime, resilience under high volume, heavy traffic conditions, or DDoS attacks. Proper testing and careful software design is conducted prior to new Altcoins or features being added

-Regulatory compliance; works with auditors and complies with EU regulations, including asset inventory, KYC and AML regulations. Currently collaborating with the AMF (French equivalent to SEC) and other institutions to shape upcoming crypto-exchange regulations.

-Lending and ICO advisory services creates additional revenue streams and helps BCIO differentiate from competition

Concerns (*addressed by the team and updated*)

  • Utility of BCIO tokens needs to be more clearly addressed (will they be sold on other exchanges? can traders use them to get discounts on transaction fees like Binance? etc)

(*Update*: BCIO Tokens are utility coins. They are designed to promote and incentivize platform use and to foster liquidity on the Exchange. BCIO Tokens will be held in a wallet on the Exchange. Each User will hold a certain quantity of Tokens in order to use certain services and to perform operations on the Exchange. Tokens may be used in several ways on the Exchange: 
- Fees : Users have the choice to pay any platform fees either in BCIO Tokens or in other cryptocurrencies. 
- Discounted Trading : Platform fees paid in BCIO Tokens are subject to discounts. Fees will be discounted in various ways. Some will depend on the size of the BCIO Tokens balance held on a User Exchange Wallet. Discount sizes will be determined according to the tier associated to the size of the BCIO Tokens balance.
- Survey Participation Rights : Blockchain.io intends to foster a vibrant community. As such, Blockchain.io will regularly organize surveys and polls regarding the introduction of new features or the listing of third party tokens. These improvements suggestions will be submitted to the community of BCIO Token holders for consultation purposes. Token holders will thus be able to contribute to Blockchain.io’s roadmap.
- Loyalty & Rewards : BCIO Tokens will be used to incentivize Exchange usage and reward external developers, as well as existing Paymium users and early Blockchain.io adopters and supporters).

  • Competitors like Binance, IDEX and Coinbase are quickly capturing most of the retail investor market. BCIO should perhaps offer stronger incentives for new users to trade on their platform (free BCIO tokens for trading X amount, discounts on lending interest rates for referrals, etc).
  • 60M Euro hardcap is quite high, especially considering the crypto bear market we’re currently in.

(*Update*: BCIO has a strong user acquisition strategy that required the hardcap to be especially high).

  • BCIO will need to move quickly to establish a regulatory framework in which they can fully operate in France and expand across the rest of Europe. Exchanges like Binance are already establishing their own banks in Malta, which gives them significant leverage to deploy regulatory compliant fiat-to-crypto exchange capabilities.

Conclusion

Exchanges are an essential component of how value is transferred in the crypto industry. However, many of them fall short when it comes to guaranteeing security, compliance, reliability and efficiency, all of which are necessary to ensure that people can effectively navigate the increasingly complex pool of blockchain networks.

BCIO is aiming to solve these problems by combining the most important functions of centralized exchanges, (order books, deposit/withdrawals, wallets, etc) with decentralized “trustless” cross-chain settlement.

The company leverages the latest and most advanced technologies in the crypto space, including cross-chain atomic swaps, cryptographic protocols and payment networks such as Lightning and Raiden. The end result is a highly scalable, secure and cost effective exchange capable of achieving mass adoption.

With over 1,500 cryptocurrencies in the market, originating from dozens of blockchain networks, BCIO is positioning itself to be the centerpiece of the Internet of Value.

More by Toju Ometoruwa

Topics of interest

More Related Stories