Orphan Blocks

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The complete guide to upcoming ICOs (Q1 2018)

Remember the reviews below are just our opinions! If we’ve hurt your feelings, trashed your favourite project and/or you just want to remonstrate with us get in touch via twitter!
Did we miss an ICO? Respond below and if we get enough requests, we might do a special supplement to this guide in the coming days.

We took a glance at some of the hottest ICOs of the quarter as reviewed by the likes of Ian Balina, OhHeyMatty, IcoBench, IcoDrops and so on and put them through our usual process and then summarised the results into the complete guide you see below.

Unlike our more in-depth coin reviews, the sheer amount of projects on this list means we tried to be a little bit more concise. Think of it as a launchpad for doing your own research into these projects.

Later this month, we are going to be releasing our ultimate cryptocurrency fundamentals checklist. The process we use ourselves to determine whether we will invest in a project.

To give you a quick way to filter and distill these projects, you can use the ratings system we’ve devised below:

Our Rating System

 1 = Blatant scam. Avoid at all costs!
2 = Avoid this as well, too many red flags.
3 = A terrible project but with some glimmer of hope.
4 = Not recommended, unless you have spare change.
5 = We like the concept, don't have complete faith in the project.
6 = Perhaps good as a short term hold until it hits an exchange.
7 = A good buy, but some concerns.
8 = Strongly consider investing in this.
9 = Potentially great, but we have some reservations.
10 = Sell the wife and kids, this is a home banker!

It goes without saying that our reviews should only be taken on an informative basis and not construed as any form of financial advice.

So with that mumbo jumbo out the way, without any further ado, let’s introduce the projects!

MedicalChain (7)

What is it?
MedicalChain uses blockchain technology to store patient health records. The platform is based on three technologies:

  • HyperLedger Fabric by the Linux Foundation, a closed blockchain which has channels for sharing confidential information.
  • Ethereum for the ERC20 token
  • Civic for Identity Management

Patients can approve doctors, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacists and health insurers access to their data.

The project is looking to build the following:

  • An application to allow patients to grant/deny access and set permissions for what can be queried and written to their records.
  • A “Telemedicine” application to allow patients to use a web cam interface to get online consultations using their health records.
  • Marketplace to allow patient health records to be shared in studies and recompensed for doing so in tokens.
  • An app development platform to allow third party developers to build on the MedicalChain.

What is the use of the token?
The MedToken is an ERC20 token which powers the platform. It’s utilities includes:

  • Patients using the token to pay for telemedicine consultations.
  • Bought by pharmaceutical and other research institutions to be paid to patients who share their details on the health data market place.
  • Future integration with insurance providers.
  • Future usage of third party developer apps.

What is our verdict?
This is a solid healthcare ICO with a strong team. An alpha version is already available although we couldn’t find it! They claim to be working on UI and a demonstration at this point would do their ICO a world of good.

More importantly it seems like a correct usage of Blockchain technology, rather than an additional sprinkling to a project that could quite feasibly exist on it’s own.

We still have questions such as:

  • Whether doctor’s will have an incentive to use the platform.
  • Whether they can actually influence health care professionals to enter accurate medical data.
  • Whether they can navigate the deeply regulated medical industry.

But there’s still enough positives here for us to suggest backing the project.

Website: https://medicalchain.com/en/
Whitepaper: https://medicalchain.com/Medicalchain-Whitepaper-EN.pdf

Credits (6-7)

What is it?
Unlike some of the projects on this list, this is a completely new blockchain technology and not just a token. It comes with it’s own internal currency called “CS”. It’s not an unfair comparison to make at this stage, to dub them Eos-lite. This Russian based development team want to build a similar system with high transaction speeds, low transaction fees and a virtual machine for running smart contracts but without the hefty ICO price that EOS raised.

What is the use of the token?
This is really not applicable as Credit (CS) is the internal currency of the blockchain.

What is our verdict?
It’s safe to say that we rate projects that try to reinvent / reimagine the blockchain a little higher than your average DApp which tries to shoehorn blockchain into the project in some clumsy manner.

Credits of course has a more ambitious vision, which we love. But if you want to reinvent something on the scale of Eos and Ethereum, you would expect someone on the team to be a “star player” — that is to say they should have previous reputable experience of building something of large magnitude.

In the absence of such a star player we’d look for an endorsement from a reputable project / advisor and once again Credits falls short here. Since they don’t have a product already, we need some evidence of credibility. Can they produce something great without these outward signals? Of course! But we’ll have to take their word and a leap of faith in order to back them.

With the sale continuing until mid February, we might do a more in-depth review of Credits at a later date and dive a little into their patented consensus algorithm.

Website: https://credits.com/en/
Whitepaper: https://credits.com/Content/Docs/TechnicalWhitePaperCREDITSEng.pdf

HeroToken (4)

What is it?
This Philippines based company claims to have a similar mission to another ICO we review later in this list (Babb) to help the unbanked — although Hero Token is focusing on just the south east Asian market. But their actual premise seems to be a little different to Babb.

The company has been in operation since 2015 operating an entirely online pawn shop. This aspect of their business is successful, even though they are small compared to their competitors, they have a simple mobile application and offer cheaper lending rates compared to other pawn shops.

Unfortunately the whitepaper and the concept they present has nothing interesting blockchain wise or anything that contributes towards their mission of helping the unbanked. It seems like a rather simple ploy to fund and grow their existing infrastructure. If there was actually a disruptive service (blockchain or otherwise) in South East Asia to help these unbanked people, their core business of a pawn shop would find itself marginalised!

We can’t really explain the concept any further because like mentioned earlier, blockchain is used very spuriously in the whitepaper for this project!

What is the use of the token?
The crazy thing about Hero Tokens is that they do not actually get used in the loan process so there are only two possible use cases for the token:

  • Holding them earns you a reward (interest) mentioned to be 20% of income.
  • The company may use a percentage of profits to repurchase tokens.

Safe to say we’re not really ecstatic about the lack of attention here. If you want to crowbar a buzzword into your product offering, you should attempt to make a little bit of an effort to justify a utility for the token.

What is our verdict?
The subsidiary company (PawnHero) has won a number of awards. They’ve received seed funding from the CEO of one of the biggest Logistics company in the Phillippines and from companies like AliBaba. They have a working product which has been operational for two years (even if it seems like a customer base in the thousands seems a little low!).

We wanted to get all the good news out of the way before touching on the negatives. We don’t really see the reason why this company needs to use blockchain. For a company embarking on a blockchain development project, the team is light on actual blockchain developers. They aren’t an outright scam and they might well have good motives (the company is named Hero because they want to be “good guys” for those facing hard times). But we can’t really recommend you back the project for those reasons.

Website: https://herotoken.io/
Whitepaper: https://s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/herotoken/Hero+Whitepaper_111617.pdf

BlockMesh (5)

What is it?
BlockMesh is a Mauritius based company that was established in 2015. They are a Mesh Network provider — a network in which information is sent from device to device (each device is a relay) until it reaches the intended recipient.

Instead of using costly cellular data, the idea is that data is passed on via bluetooth and wifi connectivity completely cost free as long as users are capable of downloading and running the smartphone application provided by BlockMesh.

In areas where the Mesh Network isn’t so strong, cellular data is used and users are rewarded with Mesh Tokens (MESH) for every MB of data that passes through their device.

The existing profitable business will be supplemented with the following activities through the launch of this ICO:

  • MeshDev: Every ICO we’ve reviewed promises a third party developer platform and BlockMesh is no different. They intend to create one to allow developers to build applications on the BlockMesh platform. In this case devs get access to cost free data transfer for their users.
  • Mesh Ex: Wi Fi Routers that users can install and get paid with Mesh Tokens for data that transfers through their routers. A way to extend the reach of the Mesh Network.
  • Mesh Ad: A geolocated/demographics based advertising network to spam users with marketing messages ;)

Additionally the BlockMesh will be used as a payment platform and the wallet software will be packed to the brim with features such as chat, offline payments etc.

What is the use of the token?
Well sadly the founders missed a rather obvious play by detailing the token economics in the whitepaper but we can extrapolate some of the use cases for the token.

The most obvious usage is to reward users who operate the Mesh Ex routers or allow data to be transferred on their device. Actual Mesh income is earned from customers wanting internet access and can pay using Mesh tokens.

Advertisers will be also be able to use Mesh tokens to advertise to customers within a targeted demographic and geographic location.

Token holders are also promised three airdrops within the year if they hold the tokens for that period.

What is our verdict?
Well it’s not a terrible idea, it’s a novel use of Blockchain technology and that’s quite refreshing after reviewing the HeroToken concept. But we came across two projects that already exist and do something quite similar.

We found it annoying that we had to determine how their business model worked. It’s quite easy to fall under a slogan such as “banking the unbanked” or “helping the impoverished” but that doesn’t give projects the right to be vague when it comes to how they will generate money. One of the key business activities will the development of WI-Fi routers and there is scant information on how these will be produced, marketed and so on.

The roadmap after 2018 is also sparse and so we had to start resorting to shallow metrics to ascertain how well they might do. For example, we looked through at their community building efforts which is a good indicator as to how good the team is at sales and marketing and it doesn’t feel like they’ve engaged or caught people’s attention.

For that reason, we don’t give this project an enthusiastic rating and encourage you to read on, there’s far greater projects to be found on this page.

Website: https://www.blockmesh.io/
Whitepaper: https://www.blockmesh.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/BlockMesh-White_Paper-1.pdf

Metronome (2)

What is it?
Metronome by Bloq tries to solve the problem of each cryptocurrency running on it’s own blockchain by allowing you to switch the MTN token from one blockchain to another.

Some key distinguishing features for Metronome:

  • It will be governed “autonomously” by smart contracts and not the founders.
  • There is no fixed supply to the tokens
  • You can choose which blockchain suits your requirements and switch your MTN tokens as mentioned earlier.

The whitepaper also alludes to some goodies such as fast 15–30 second settlements of payments, batched payments and recurring payments. Obviously these will have to be off chain solutions as the underlying platform may put a dampener on some of MTN’s promised functionality.

It was hard to review this project without actually devoting a few obligatory paragraphs about the founders, Metronome is the brainchild of two figures that most people reading this review might know intimately — Jeff Garzik and Gavin Andresen, both ex-Bitcoin Core developers.

It’s safe to say that they have a less than glowing reputation in the cryptocurrency world at the moment, the former is associated with the aborted Segwit2x project and the latter has been laying low after his association with Craig Wright’s failed attempt to prove to the world he is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Metronome also has a rather interesting and unusual token issue method. There is no limit to the amount of tokens that will be created. It’s a reverse Dutch auction where 8 million of the initial 10 million supply will be offered at a high rate and then it will drop. The other 2 million in case you were wondering are reserved for the founders.

As we mentioned there is no cap on the amount of tokens so after the 8 million supply is exhausted, there will be a further 2880 MTN minted per day (or the annual rate equivalent to 2%/year — whichever is greater).

What is the use of the token?
It’s a currency not just a DApp which requires a token with some form of utility. Although Metronome promises to be blockchain platform independent, it’s going to be launched on the Ethereum network as an ERC20 token although later QTUM, Ethereum Classic and of course Bitcoin support via Rootstock is promised.

What is our verdict?
When a project tries to prevent speculators, whales and other investors from buying their token by making the offering unattractive, it’s a clear sign it’s not a great opportunity. Even though technically at this stage — these are the only people that would consider buying a project with no active users!

The biggest USP of the project, switching between blockchains is not implemented yet. As Ethereum is the first platform they will support, we can deduce they will release a set of smart contracts. These are yet to be made public and audited so should you be brave enough to invest in the ICO, you’ll be doing so based solely on the strength and reputation of the all star team and advisors backing the project.

As we mentioned earlier — some of their touted features will be restricted by the platform. The whitepaper (*cough* user manual) does not go into the technicalities of how they will achieve cross blockchain switching so you’ve got to take their word for it at this stage. The roadmap is equally flaky.

Lastly, whilst it’s not exactly easy to speculate on a wafer thin technical whitepaper, perhaps atomic swaps might feel the use-case that Metronome is gunning for?

We also advice you to take a look Ana De Sousa’s excellent teardown of this project on the following link for further reasons why you should not invest in this project:

Website: https://metronome.io/
Whitepaper: https://metronome.io/pdf/MetronomeOwnersManual01.21.2018.pdf

DataWallet (6–7)

What is it?
Unethical harvesting of user data by data brokers is a hot potato topic. Even if you have no interest in having a Facebook profile, a shadow profile for you is created based on friends that do use it. Every copy of an email you’ve sent to a GMail user is stored and from that an elaborate marketing profile (which in most cases is inaccurate) is created and sold by data brokers to firms that want to market to you.

DataWallet is hoping to use blockchain to subvert this state of affairs. Users are given the option of selling their data for tokens and organisations then have the ability to opt for poor quality unethically harvested data or purchasing from the DataWallet market place.

The project consists of:

  • An app that allows the user to select what data the app should collect and what organisations to make it available to.
  • An API to allow developers to create an app on the Data Wallet platform.

This is the “second attempt” for the company, the DataWallet app already existed in the Apple store. The idea behind this ICO is to redesign that app from scratch and inject blockchain/smart contracts into the idea.

What is the use of the token?
It’s quite a simple model, the over-elaborate whitepaper defines two roles in the system; “data providers” and “data requesters”.

  • Data Providers get paid in DXT tokens for selling their data.
  • Data Requests pay DXT tokens to providers in order to access their data. If more companies use the platform, they’ll need to obtain the token from exchanges and you know where we’re going with this… nothing revolutionary.

The whitepaper doesn’t mention any supplemental uses of the tokens e.g. how it’s used within their third party developer platform.

What is our verdict?
We like the concept, we think users should be in charge of their data. But DXT’s goal here is to raise $30 million and capture the majority of the data broking market in return. At the moment, companies rely on brokers to aggregate and present them the data. Will they take a piecemeal approach to data brokering as advocated by DXT? We doubt it…

We think the whitepaper is too elaborate as we mentioned, but whilst they go into extreme details about UML diagrams etc, there is absolutely no information on the roadmap beyond a shoddy appendix which mentions a few versions (1.0, 2.0 etc) with no commitments beyond that!

Tim Draper is the big ticket backer of this project. You could see the fact they’ve been working in this space as either a positive or negative! Either they’ve tried and already failed with this concept OR a strong team has been working on this concept for a while.

Either way throw some money at this if you have some spare change. It will be a decent flip as there are no obvious red flags. Whether it’s any good as a long term hold remains to be seen.

Website: https://tokensale.datawallet.com/
Whitepaper: https://assets.datawallet.io/tokensale/datawallet_whitepaper.pdf

NEX / Neon Exchange (9)

What is it?
NEX is one of the most highly anticipated ICOs on the NEO platform. As explained below in the Omega One review, one of the biggest trends of 2018 will be the growth in the number of decentralized exchanges springing up.

Coinbase has been a vital part of the cryptocurrency industry. The exchange brings thousands of new users into the ecosystem — but having only a few fiat on-ramps like Coinbase also has a host of problems.

Some rather annoying but trivial issues:

  • Users have very little say in what coins are offered by Coinbase.
  • Users are unable to dictate what happens when forks take place. Coinbase for example held onto Bitcoin Cash forked coins until late December!
  • … and of course there’s security issues when you consider how exchanges such as Coinbase pool together user funds.

That’s without even touching the more thornier issue of suspicious activity that’s alleged to take place: https://medium.com/@bitfinexed/meet-picasso-the-painter-on-gdax-c478ff8f50e5

On the other hand, peer to peer exchanges like EtherDelta exist where any number of pairings are possible and funds are safely held in smart contracts. The downsides are low liquidity and the lack of more sophisticated trade options such as limit orders but more importantly, performing these trades on-chain is hindered by the limits of platforms such as Ethereum. It’s too slow to keep up with high volume order books. This is where NEX steps in.

  • NEX will handle receiving of orders matching bids (off chain) and the final on chain settlement.
  • NEX also allows third party smart contracts on NEO to send and receive assets
  • Finally NEX will be producing a Chrome Extension to stores currencies off the exchange, a cross between the NEON wallet and Metamask as described by one of the founders.

What is the use of the token?
The NEX token powers the Neon Exchange. 50 million tokens will be issued, 25m will be available during the crowd sale.

Holders of the NEX token will be able to stake the token in exchange for a share of the fees taken by the exchange and payment service. This is a similar model to Binance’s BNB and Kucoin’s KCS tokens.

What is our verdict?
It’s quite obvious, we think you should really back this project!

NEX has an astounding team working on the product. The founders are all ex-founding members of City of Zion (a group of open source developers that work on the Neo platform). One of the developers, Ethan is also the creator of the Neon Wallet and has pedigree as an alumni of Y-Combinator. Advisors include Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang, Neo Council Founders who provide a glossy finish to this project.

One puzzling aspect of the project is the lack of marketing. We tried to find some information about the NEX wallet which was supposed to have been released prior to the start of the ICO. The link we followed to their sub-reddit r/NeonExchange is gated. Discussions for NEX are redirected to the NEO sub reddit on the official site. There is no Telegram or Slack community. The Medium blog has only one entry. For a project that’s going to be a cornerstone and such a crucial part of the NEO ecosystem, that’s makes us scratch our heads a little!

Is there any obvious negatives? They haven’t released a prototype yet which would instantly rule them off Ian Balina’s investment checklist but we have a little bit more faith in the concept. There’s no details about the token sale either other than the fact they will sell 25m from a total supply of 50 million. Perhaps they’ll reveal something that will make us recoil later down the line.

The roadmap shows that NEO/GAS and NEX trading pairs will be immediately available but other currencies (ETH, BTC) are either planned for late 2018 or not announced at all in the case of the latter. They will have to contend with a number of DEX launches this year who might open up their offerings a little wider. But even if NEX were to simply focus on the NEO ecosystem, there’s potential to be a great winner.

Website: https://neonexchange.org/
Whitepaper: https://neonexchange.org/pdfs/whitepaper_v1.1.pdf

KodakOne [KodakCoin] (NA)

What is it?
The KodakOne platform allows token holders to upload images and manage rights for their images on Kodak’s block chain platform. There are plans to integrate AI image recognition software to monitor for images registered in the platform.

KodakCoin seems to be a partnership between WENN Digital Inc who provide the tech and Kodak who provide the brand. We found this article interesting on the nature of this relationship and why you might be cautious about backing the project.

What is the use of the token?
There is not a huge amount of details on the Kodakcoin web site. From bits and piece gathered whilst googling, you can probably piece together that the token will be based on the Ethereum platform and used to register images on the platform. Perhaps they might charge a subscription fee to handle the post-licensing process. Honestly at this stage, we do not know!

What is our verdict?
You can sign up for more details on the Kodakcoin website. Of course there is no whitepaper released yet, even though the ICO is due to launch on the 31st of January. You can request a “Lite Paper” but we’ve given it a shot and not received anything yet. <sigh>

Also the links below make for interesting reading:

Website: https://kodakcoin.com
Whitepaper: Not available, register on the site for the “Lite Paper”.

Omega One (7–8)

What is it?
Cryptocurrency markets are not yet mature, liquidity and security are a big problem. Omega One tries to solve this problem by aggregating exchanges. Currently traders have limited choice — they can use a centralised exchange with high liquidity but poor security (funds held in collected accounts) or use an on-chain/peer-to-peer solution like Etherdelta which is safer but suffers from low liquidity.

Omega One’s solution is to aggregate the exchanges, they split large orders into smaller chunks and distribute them across exchanges. They also use a process called “balance sheet intermediation” to allow traders to keep custody of their own funds.

At this stage, the ICO will fund the development of supporting ERC20 tokens but they have plans to integrate other coins at a later date.

What is the use of the token?
The Omega Token (OMT)’s main utility is in paying of trading fees. It’s a standard ERC20 token. If you have high balances of OMT, you’ll get preferential liquidity treatment and discount on fees. Some of the benefits of membership will include priority on trade execution and of course lower liquidity is designed to attract institutional investors.

What is our verdict?
The team behind this project are extremely impressive. The CTO is credited with inventing a way to split orders over exchanges on a traditional currency trading platform — so at least we know, they’ve been there, done that and have the t-shirt as far as the technical implementation is concerned!

We might have some concerns about their “balance sheet intermediation” facility — they will require huge quantity of money to pay for all the open orders across all the exchanges. Another niggle would be that marketing is also not on of their strong points. The social media and telegram engagement levels are rather poor. But a more important concern is the market cap of $300 million which offers very little in the way of returns.

A genuine project, backed by Consensys — a well-established company. A novel idea, one that could well mature the market. There’s a few concerns but we’re willing to risk our hat and suggest you pile into this one!

p.s. this project also has one of the nicest whitepapers we’ve ever read!
p.p.s. the ICO has been delayed and may take place in Q2 2008

Website: https://omega.one/
Whitepaper: https://omega.one/static/media/whitepaper-eng-1.24.48b42747.pdf

Referum (6)

What is it?
Launched initially for the gaming industry, Referum allows game developers to pay influencers to stream their game and players for performing certain actions. As a player you can perform actions such as writing reviews for example to earn tokens and use your earned/purchased tokens to obtain games from developers.

In a nutshell, they believe influencer / word of mouth marketing trumps all and the platform seems to cut out middle men by connecting games directly with developers.

In terms of their reach, they claim to have 150,000 users already using the platform. Impressive partnerships in the form of Epic Games, who have sponsored Refereum with a Twitch based game is a major plus. Whilst favourable quotes from Twitch and Unity (two platforms that Refereum integrate with) are also mentioned in the whitepaper.

What is the use of the token?
There are currently three use cases for the RFR token on the Refereum.com platform:

  • The general public can use the refereum.com site to purchase games on the site
  • Game developers can use RFR tokens to feature their game on refereum.com
  • Digital goods sellers can pay to list their products.

What is our verdict?
We have to admit, we were a little tickled by an ICO that promises to help people get paid to play and watch video games! In fact this could be rated a little bit higher. They have a neat concept, which has a built in viral component (compensating gamers) that should help create traction.

Influencer marketing is successful and works brilliantly on other platforms like Instagram. So the partnerships with Twitch in particular and Unity is good news and the fact the team has a working demo is quite promising. The token model also makes sense. A quick note on the team, which is compromised of many individuals with experience in the gaming industry (Zynga, Facebook, Twitch etc).

A rather vague roadmap is a slight concern but we definitely think this is a good ICO at least for a short term flip and might even be a good long term hold.

Website: https://token.refereum.com/
Whitepaper: https://token.refereum.com/RefereumWhitepaper.pdf

Go Network (4)

What is it?
It’s the “Lightning Network” for Ethereum. Essentially a state channel is created between two participants. This requires one on-chain transaction to create the channel. After which, participants in the channel can transact unlimited times off chain and finally settle back on chain.

You might be wondering whether that’s not already covered by Raiden, but according to the developers of Go Network, Raiden is built in Python and caters for desktop whilst Go Network is putting mobile first.

As mentioned on the big splash above, the team won the hackathon at ETHWaterloo which was chaired by Vitalik Buterin, Joseph Lubin and others. They come from a game development background and the whitepaper / site confusingly refers to this quite a lot, we think they might be in the process of pivoting.

Some disturbing issues were found which have been summarised here: https://github.com/ico-check/ico-check/issues/12

What is the use of the token?
The GOT token can be purchased using Ethereum or fiat currency. It’s used obviously to make the off chain payments. Since there is a fixed supply of the token, with increasing off-chain payments, the value of the token should increase.

Go Network haven’t released any details as to what happens to the tokens when (i.e. if they are returned to Go Network after a payment) and whether they are burned / removed from the system.

What is our verdict?
We think you should give this a miss. A mobile first scaling solution for Ethereum which won a Hackaton moderated by Vitalik himself. Sounds great, but the due diligence done by other ICO reviewers have unearthed a huge amount of worrying red flags and in addition we see no activity on their Github accounts and the poor communication in the Telegram channels point to this being an ICO to swerve.

Website: https://gonetwork.co/
Whitepaper: https://gonetwork.co/GoNetwork_WhitePaper.pdf [currently unavailable]

Gems Protocol (7)

What is it?
It’s a decentralised version of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, a service which allows you to list small tasks which require human intervention. These types of “on demand workforce” platforms are useful for finding cheap labour to help train AI systems. We covered this project in greater detail a few weeks ago.

What is the use of the token?
Gems doesn’t just want to displace MTurk, it also wants to be a tool to build any platform that involves verifiable work. So there may be further use cases for the tokens as well when other DApps are built on top of the Gems Protocol.

For now, the system consists of requesters (people who place job requests), miners (workers) and verifiers (people who verify the jobs performed).

The workers stake a token (or a small portion of a token) in order to ensure the reliability of their work. The requester can choose how many verifications (if any) are required. The verifier also stakes a smaller amount.

Of course requesters need Gem tokens as well, they put the token (the payment for the work) into an escrow type system to prove to miners and verifiers that the funds for the project exist.

What is our verdict?
As we already mentioned in our previous review, we thinks Gems Protocol has a few things going for it. There is a global workforce that relies on this kind of platform but they only have one major option (MTurk) and whilst their competitor is a huge 800lb gorilla, Amazon doesn’t really show much love to their product — so there’s an opportunity for the more nimble Gems to take advantage!

The founders are also reputable, the advisors have lots of experience in the cryptocurrency space. The project caught the eye of Vitalik and there’s even a limited proof of concept.

Website: https://gems.org/
Whitepaper: https://gems.org/whitepaper.pdf

Bee Token (6)

What is it?
It’s a decentralised version of AirBNB. As well as building the front end portal to allow hosts to share their homes with guests, they’re taking it one step by building second layer protocols on top of Ethereum.

These three “protocols” (payments, arbitration and reputation) will power their own application as well as allow non Smart Contract developers to build DApps on their platform.

What is the use of the token?
You would expect that the two major users of the token will be “hosts” and “guests”. Bee Token also has the concept of “arbiters”, who are used to resolve disputes.

  • Hosts are expected to receive Bee tokens in payment for their properties. The funds are held in a contract created when a booking is made.
  • Guests purchase and use the Bee tokens to make bookings
  • Arbiters earn Bee tokens for settling disputes, as mentioned earlier they need to stake tokens in order to participate in the arbitration network.
  • Third party developers can also build DApps on the Bee Token Platform, presumably using the token as part of the payment system and for paying gas fees for using the arbitration and reputation protocols.

What is our verdict?
The project is trying to raise $15m and they’re keen to stress the credentials of their team (e.g. “Ex-Uber”, “Ex-Google”, “Ex-Facebook” etc). We believe the main reason for this is because there isn’t a huge amount of substance to the project.

They have a competitor which sadly seems to be raising the same amount of money for a lesser project so if you really believe in this space, you should plump for Bee Token. Although amuse yourself by reading this disparaging piece by the Bee Token team to highlight the differences between the two.

We think they could have built a proof of concept of the AirBNB clone functioning on blockchain (one was due to be released in early Jan!) before asking for so much money... but the presence of Richard Ma from Quantstamp and having a team comprised of ex-Facebook/Google/Uber employees will definitely attract backers so perhaps people will see this as the kind of project you can purchase and flip once it hits an exchange.

Website: https://www.beetoken.com
Whitepaper: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/beenest-public/whitepaper/bee_whitepaper_v3.pdf

Orchid Protocol (8)

What is it?
Provides anonymous, surveillance-free access to the internet. Orchid achieves this by routing traffic randomly through nodes which share their surplus bandwidth. Example use cases of this include users in China who want to bypass restrictions (firewalls).

The token is a standard ERC20 token and Orchid will create a peer-to-peer way for people wanting uncensored internet access to pay bandwidth providers using the token.

What is the use of the token?
Well this is relatively simple. Bandwidth consumers will purchase the token in order to pay the nodes who are sharing their bandwidth.

It seems the other utility of the token is funding the research and development of this project. At this point, the team isn’t sure that the system works, so the fund raised during the ICO can be put towards developing a service that is completely un-censorable and anonymous.

What is our verdict?
An impressive list of backers have funded Orchid Protocol including Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Blockchain Capital and others. They’ve already raised $4.7m through these funders. The team is impressive. We think they have a noble mission and there is an obvious need for their solution. Orchid first arrived on our radar a few months ago on a tech news aggregator (Y-Combinator) so they have a different pedigree to most of the ICOs we’ve reviewed so far. We think this could be a good project to back despite some reservations.

Website: https://orchidprotocol.com/
Whitepaper: https://orchidprotocol.com/whitepaper.pdf

Tradove (9)

What is it?
Tradove believes that there isn’t a true b-2-b platform for buyers and sellers. LinkedIn comes the closest but they think buyers are there for other reasons (not to be contacted solely for business reasons) and believe there is a huge issue with trust.

They’ve been in operation for five years already with a working product. The ICO is used to develop the next phase of the project, specifically

  • Authenticating users, adding endorsements and references
  • Using AI to match buyers and sellers
  • Targeted product & service advertising
  • Using a token (BBCoin) for trusted international transactions.

What is the use of the token?
On the Tradove platform, basic access is given to both parties (buyers and sellers). Buyers have additional free access to the system whereas Sellers are charges a BBCoin fee for certain additional features such as:

  • Paying the BBCoin directly to buyers in order to pitch them products and services.
  • Having their products and services advertised to buyers by Tradove.

In a later stage, Tradove hopes to open up their marketing platform and buyers will actually receive tokens for their attention. Which they can deposit into their company account and use to pitch/promote themselves.

Of course there is also usage of the BBCoin as a safe and trusted international payment system between buyers and sellers on the platform.

What is our verdict?
Unlike some of the ICOs on this list, Tradove has a working product. More than a 100,000 companies are registered on their platform. They’ve raised $4m to build this platform over a five year period and built partnerships with companies like Nestle, P&G, Ford etc. Their advisors are former CEOs and CFOs of banks like Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and a retired US congressman!

As for the concept itself, we grimaced at the usage of AI (which most projects seem use as as their garnish on their bigger blockchain buzzword serving). But a platform for connecting buyers and sellers from a company that has already established a match making site in the same space; it seems like a good concept and a worthy investment!

Website: https://bbcoin.tradove.com
Whitepaper: https://bbcoin.tradove.com/doc/TraDove%20Global%20B2B%20Token%20Offering%20White%20Paper.pdf

Experty (6)

What is it?
It’s a video chat platform similar to Skype, but for connecting experts to people seeking answers to questions. Experts are able to charge for their time on the platform by setting a rate per minute. The ERC20 token (EXY) is used to make payments instantly.

The proposed roadmap does includes cross platform applications for performing the calls (so they will build desktop and mobile applications). There is a backend application proposed for experts to create their profile, set their rates and availability.

However Experty does not intend to create a directory for their experts (i.e. you would share the link that opens up the interface to begin calling within your own networks).

What is the use of the token?
As you might expect people will be expected to pay for all the calls made with Experts using the EXY token.

In addition to this, the roadmap includes some premium features which are enabled by staking the token.

  • Paid group calls (pencilled in for next year) which might be useful for those running webinars.
  • Scheduling as mentioned earlier — which provides a reason for experts to not completely cash out any tokens received.
  • Conversation recording, which might be useful for all parties and especially to companies that wish to outsource paid customer support.

What is our verdict?
We like to review ICOs on fundamentals. Because we discovered our predictions were not as effective in extremely bullish market conditions, we added our ranking system so people can distinguish between genuine game changers and projects that might not win our stamp of approval but still be a profitable investment.

So our final thoughts on Experty? We think it’s a good project but from a technical point of view, it’s not an ambitious project to build and the ~ $9m (as of today’s ETH price) they want to raise seems a bit steep for a project of this complexity.

So we think the outward signals are positive but we wouldn’t consider it a long term hold.

Website: https://experty.io
Whitepaper:
https://docsend.com/view/nhaz6bq

Electrify (5)

What is it?
This Singapore based platform currently has a service which helps businesses buy electricity from suppliers. It’s a typical middle man service which collates quotes and helps find the best rates. They’ve managed $5m in transactions since inception.

The ICO is being used to create following products and services:

  • Upgrade the current quote marketplace into a decentralized market place which allows consumers to buy for retailers or directly from other peers (integrated with the blockchain).
  • An ability to buy electricity not just from large providers but also small scale rooftop solar / wind turbine providers called “Synergy”
  • A blockchain based payment / wallet system
  • An IoT smart device to measure production of electricity from the above mentioned solar panels called “PowerPad”.

What is the use of the token?
Energy providers (retailers and small scale producers) will pay using the ELEC token to list their products in the market place. However all the monthly bill payments either to the retailers or via Synergy to the small scale producers will be made in fiat.

Consumers get loyalty rewards which are paid in ELEC. Transaction fees are also paid in ELEC.

What is our verdict?
Most people will see “Asia” and the presence of Omise/OmiseGo founder Jun Hasewaga as positive signals. Add to the fact that there’s an existing profitable business that the blockchain concepts are being bolted onto and it looks like a reasonable investment.

However Electrify have a $30m hard cap for the project which is probably based on the amount Power Ledger raised last year. If you invested in that project, you might consider this one. We are passing however, there just isn’t enough in the whitepaper to convince us that there is a great opportunity here.

Website: https://electrify.asia
Whitepaper: https://electrify.asia/whitepaper

Babb (7–8)

What is it?
Babb wants to provide access to a UK based bank account and banking services (bank accounts, lending, fundraising etc) globally to people who are unbanked.

The company is based in London and is already FCA registered. They spent the past year registering patents for the key pieces of technology used within their proposal (opening bank accounts with facial and vocal recognition biometrics and prepaid NFC smart cards).

The upcoming ICO will be used to developing the service:

  • Applying for a UK Banking License and later an EU one.
  • Working with central banks to launch CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies).
  • Tokenizing fiat currencies
  • Launching the NFC / QR code payments smart card
  • A mobile application which manages the process of purchasing the BAX token and dealing with your account.

One interesting thing to note is that they have a social form of KYC, where a fully vetted member is allowed to nominate someone else who doesn’t have full documents (passport, identity) to open up an account.

What is the use of the token?
The token is used throughout the platform, the fees associated with actions on the platform (e.g. opening new bank accounts, sending and receiving transactions and exchange fees) are all paid in BAX tokens.

In addition, banks and other third party services operating on Babb will also be able to use the tokens for specialised actions such as paying licensing fees (the cost of operating on the platform), raising funds and access user’s identity information.

The latter also rewards users (small portion of the fees goes to the user).

What is our verdict?
We think this is an ambitious project. We were keen to discover how exactly they would provide UK bank accounts to the entire world, our first thought was that this was just simply a mobile application and blockchain layer. Obviously the proposal is a much higher level concept. The project has been headquartered at the Level39 Incubator and raised seed funding to the tune of $1m already to flesh out the concept.

There are obviously legal and regulatory concerns. You might also wonder how successful they will be in working with central banks to launch their digital currency and they haven’t yet received a banking license. But we were convinced enough to recommend taking a punt on this project.

Website: https://getbabb.com/
Whitepaper: https://getbabb.com/babb-whitepaper.pdf

Dadi (2)

What is it?
A decentralized version of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Whereas AWS provides hundreds of cloud based services, Dadi is focused on 11 specialized services which include database storage, machine learning, authentication, content distribution and real time data transfer.

Dadi has run into controversy however, it was reported that parts of the whitepaper was plagiarised from SONM which was Dadi then responded to. This led to further scrutiny, an alleged partnership with Rai Blocks was refuted by XRB. Finally some of the web sites utilising Dadi tech were found to have been built with AWS instead!

What is the use of the token?
In the Dadi ecosystem, there are miners who provide CPU power to the network and consumers who are charges fees for using Dadi web services.

Miners are split into three further types:

  • Stargates and Gateways — who provide bandwidth and act as a DNS service to route to hosts.
  • Hosts — who provide computing resources. Dadi’s web services run in containers within the Host environment.

What is our verdict?
We actually reviewed Dadi a few weeks ago as a promising candidate, although one of our technical advisors was concerned about how the mining system might be susceptible to a sybil type attack where dishonest nodes are able to calculate the latency in which they can provide an incorrect result to a request. Sadly we never investigated it further because Dadi was hit with a series of bad PR as we detailed above.

You can read Dadi’s response to the SONM plagiarism claims for an overview of what makes this project unique but given the amount of red flags present, we would suggest waiting this one out.

Website: https://dadi.cloud/en
Whitepaper: https://dadi.cloud/whitepaper-pdf

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