Monero (XMR) Report

Monero Token Profile (PDF)

Monero (XMR) Token Report (PDF)

Monero (XMR) Model (XLSX)

Monero is a privacy-preserving cryptocurrency based on the CryptoNote protocol. Its key components are anonymity, security, and fungibility. Recipients and senders of Monero use unique, one-time only, public keys for every transaction. These are called Stealth Addresses and mitigate the risks of wallet data mining, a non-trivial concern of Bitcoin users. Another feature, Ring Signatures, is also used in every transaction and is made by fusing a transaction’s actual signer with a group of random signers pulled from past transactions in the blockchain. This masks the true identities of the sender and receiver.

Cardano (ADA) Report

Cardano (ADA) Report (PDF) 

Cardano (ADA) Model (XLSX)

Cardano is a high-profile smart contract platform and one of our favorite projects that we have analyzed. The platform is under development by IOHK, a blockchain consulting company led by Charles Hoskinson, the former CEO and Co-Founder of Ethereum. The team behind the project is technically competent and we have been impressed with their current and proposed technology. We caution investors that Cardano is still in a very early stage. There is a native token, ADA, and a standalone network, but all validating nodes are controlled by the project’s creators and the current iteration of the platform does not feature smart contract execution. Furthermore, many technical and economic decisions have not been definitively decided.

Aion (AION)

Aion (AION) Token Profile

Aion is a project focused on blockchain interoperability, or the ability to seamlessly exchange of tokens from one blockchain to the other, through its own intermediary network. Prior to founding the project, Aion’s co-founder, Matthew Spoke, was an accountant at Deloitte. While there, he wrote a paper describing the ways Bitcoin could eliminate the need for professional accountants. Deloitte’s CEO was particularly interested in the paper and decided to start a research lab that focused on blockchains. Spoke was a part of this research lab until June 2016, when he left Deloitte to join the Muskoka Group, a blockchain discussion group. Many Ethereum co-founders were members of this group and being in Toronto allowed Spoke to be involved in the early stages of the Ethereum project. Spoke is also on the Board of Directors of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance and Nuco, the company developing Aion. The project’s technical implementation is based on the Ethereum Virtual Machine,  and it uses Zcash’s Equihash in its consensus algorithm. Aion launched a mainnet in April 2018, but its initial version does enable any degree of interoperability.

Ontology (ONT)

Ontology (ONT) Token Profile

Ontology is a public blockchain project that aims to build a decentralized trust system where individuals and businesses can construct varying enterprise applications that leverage the blockchain data structure. It attempts to achieve that by repurposing many technologies originally developed by the NEO project, such as NEO’s virtual machine and Go-lang client. In essence, Ontology’s architecture mimics NEO’s smart contract platform, but with a focus on identity management and enterprise applications. There are many connections between the founders of the NEO project and Ontology. Notably, Ontology’s development company, OnChain, is also the main entity behind NEO and the both projects share team members. The Ontology blockchain utilizes a Verifiable Random Function (VRF) in addition to Delegated BFT in its consensus algorithm. This combination of Proof of Stake with VRF, and Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus allows validators to create new blocks every 10 seconds. Like NEO, Ontology uses a dual token mechanism in its network; ONT is used as medium of exchange and in Proof of Stake, while ONG is used for transactions fees (gas).

Raiden (RDN)

RDN Token Profile (PDF)

Polymath is a project that aims to create platform for the exchange of security tokens while being legally compliant. POLY, the platform’s native token, is based on Ethereum as an ERC20 token and serves as a gateway to the services offered by the Polymath exchange. The token attempts to enable individuals and institutions to authenticate their identity and provides a bidding mechanism for the issuances hosted on the platform. Issuers can also use POLY to hire smart-contract developers through the platform to work on key aspects of their tokens’ smart contracts. According to the project’s website, the Polymath team is working on a securities token standard called ST20; which seems to be specifically designed for ERC20 tokens. POLY will also be used to pay for fees, including for KYC accreditation, which will be required in order for an investor to get whitelisted for future offerings. The platform also aims to employ governance features through a staking mechanism also based on POLY, and implemented through a number of smart contracts. Most of the development of these smart contracts has been outsourced to SecureBlocks; a Dehli-based Solidity development shop. Partnerships with the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) and tZero have been announced to enable the trading of security tokens. It appears that the partnership with the BSE will relate to at least one security token, the Polymath Capital Fund, but it is unclear to us whether all security tokens associated with Polymath will go through the BSE, tZero, or another regulated securities exchange or ATS platform. It is also possible that these regulatory responsibilities could be passed on to the Legal Delegates described in the whitepaper.

Polymath (POLY)

Poly Token Profile (PDF)

Polymath is a project that aims to create platform for the exchange of security tokens while being legally compliant. POLY, the platform’s native token, is based on Ethereum as an ERC20 token and serves as a gateway to the services offered by the Polymath exchange. The token attempts to enable individuals and institutions to authenticate their identity and provides a bidding mechanism for the issuances hosted on the platform. Issuers can also use POLY to hire smart-contract developers through the platform to work on key aspects of their tokens’ smart contracts. According to the project’s website, the Polymath team is working on a securities token standard called ST20; which seems to be specifically designed for ERC20 tokens. POLY will also be used to pay for fees, including for KYC accreditation, which will be required in order for an investor to get whitelisted for future offerings. The platform also aims to employ governance features through a staking mechanism also based on POLY, and implemented through a number of smart contracts. Most of the development of these smart contracts has been outsourced to SecureBlocks; a Dehli-based Solidity development shop. Partnerships with the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) and tZero have been announced to enable the trading of security tokens. It appears that the partnership with the BSE will relate to at least one security token, the Polymath Capital Fund, but it is unclear to us whether all security tokens associated with Polymath will go through the BSE, tZero, or another regulated securities exchange or ATS platform. It is also possible that these regulatory responsibilities could be passed on to the Legal Delegates described in the whitepaper.

Kin (KIN)

Kin Token Profile (PDF)

Kik Interactive Inc. (Kik) is one of the first mainstream companies to launch a token sale. It hopes to leverage its existing 15M monthly active users to create an ecosystem that aligns the interests of Kik, its developer community, and its mobile app users, using the Kin token. The company claims that developers will be incentivized to create new and unique services and consumers can earn and spend Kin in the Kik app.  Kik and the Kin Foundation received 90% of the total supply of tokens, so they too are incentivized to grow the Kin ecosystem. The ICO lacked key disclosure in important areas (e.g. technical details) and the project made statements about the token’s valuation that did not take into account key details. Since the ICO, KIN announced that it would launch on the Ethereum blockchain but then announced it would launch on the Stellar blockchain. It is unclear at this point whether KIN will launch on both or only Stellar.

Verge (XVG)

Verge Token Profile (PDF)

Verge is a privacy preserving cryptocurrency based on the Bitcoin protocol that attempts to obfuscate not only the transactions within its blockchain, but also the communication between the many nodes in the network. The Verge protocol is integrated with a Tor onion routing system to encrypt the data exchanged across a network of nodes. Verge nodes are organized to facilitate integration with I2P, yet another network obfuscation mechanism that creates a shielded intranet of nodes. Combined, these two features are intended to provide a strong combination of both packet-based and circuit-based routing. Like Dash, Verge employs multi-algorithmic mining and five different Proof-of-Work hashing algorithms can be used to mine a Verge block. Like Bitcoin, Verge did not have an ICO and it was initially launched through mining. The project now seems to be working on several layer-two features to enhance the value of its platform, such as smart contract integration through Rootstock and atomic swaps. Shortly after Verge was accused of paying John McAfee to make it his Coin of the Day, the project announced that it would release the Wraith Protocol before the end of the month. This was outlined in a critical article about the project that was published by CryptoSlate on April 15, 2018. It also included evidence that 18.6M XVG had been moved from the project’s fundraising wallet.

FirstBlood (1ST)

Firstblood Token Profile (PDF)

FirstBlood is a decentralized eSports protocol based on Ethereum that allows users to compete against each other in popular online games (e.g. DOTA2) for rewards. FirstBlood utilizes an Ethereum smart contract that acts as escrow for tournament funds. It uses oracle-like entities called Witnesses to process game results and initiate transfers. Its native 1ST token allows users to play matches, become a Witness for games, vote on juries, host tournaments, and claim rewards from referrals. Many different types of tournaments can be created using the FirstBlood platform and the project appears to have created a set schedule for its tournaments. 

BitConnect (BCC)

BitConnect Token Profile (PDF)

BitConnect characterized itself as a digital exchange, lending platform and community-driven investment fund that “provide[d] risk-free returns to its users.” The website claimed to have a “Volatility Software” trading bot that guaranteed users up to a 40% return per month in addition to returns from lending operations. The principal of every investment is guaranteed, but the there is a lock-up period of, on average, 220 days. As of this date, there is no information available on the actual methodology behind their trading bots, the team itself or the lending activities of the project. There are no testimonials from users that borrowed money using the platform and the loan application is inaccessible. Although BitConnect is listed as a Large Cap according to WorldCoinIndex, 90% of the volume and price data is self-reported using data from BitConnect’s proprietary exchange.  On January 4, 2018, the Texas Securities Commissioner entered an emergency cease-and-desist order to BitConnect to halt its investment programs and five days later the Securities Division of the North Carolina Department of Secretary of State issued a similar order. On January 16, the project announced it would shut down its cryptocurrency exchange and lending operations because of the orders. During this time, it has been reported that several people affiliated from the project began distancing themselves from the project and people who visited the project’s website were informed about an ICO for an offshoot token called “BitConnectX”.

Melon (MLN)

Melon Token Profile (PDF)

Melonport is a private company that is building the open source Melon protocol, which hopes to enable decentralized digital asset management on the Ethereum blockchain. The protocol will support the trading of different tokens and will enable users to set up their own portfolio structures, manage digital assets with pre-defined parameters, invest in other portfolios, have others invest in theirs, and build an auditable visible track record for regulatory compliance purposes. The team has strong technical and finance experience and is advised by Dr. Gavin Wood (former CTO of Ethereum), Dr. Andreas Glarner (Partner at MME Legal) and Jeahan Chu (Managing Partner at Kenetic Capital).

Mysterium (MYST)

Mysterium Token Profile (PDF)

Mysterium is a project that is attempting to create a decentralized marketplace where participants can rent their unused VPN bandwidth or purchase VPN bandwidth from other users. It aims to be a fully decentralized, P2P and server-less VPN node network that provides privacy to its users and financial incentives to its node operators. Once launched, the project claims that there will be several types of VPN services available. IP tunneling and Socks proxy style services are expected to be the first to be implemented.

Peerplays (PPY)

PEERPLAYS (PPY) Token Profile

PeerPlays is a provably fair and auditable betting platform that runs on a modified version of the Graphene blockchain, the same blockchain used by BitShares. Users can design their own specialized tokens, buy or sell gateway tokens for other popular tokens, and wager the native PPY token in on-chain games. Players are matched with other users for peer-to-peer gameplay through a series of smart contracts. These contracts escrow the funds wagered by each player, which are then released to the winner after specific conditions in the game are met. The PeerPlays network earns revenue from various operations, including the creation and trading of digital asset tokens by users, the performance of certain custom operations, and most notably from the “rake” or the percentage of each jackpot that is collected as a fee. The blockchain automatically splits this revenue into a virtual account governed by a smart contract that distributes the fees in three directions. The largest percentage is distributed to PPY token holders at regular intervals.

 

PeerCoin (PPC)

PEERCOIN Token Profile (PDF)

Peercoin was launched in August 2012 and was one of the first projects to use the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, which was first described in a whitepaper co-authored by Sunny King, a pseudonym for the founder of Primecoin, and Scott Nadal.  It is a peer-to-peer digital currency similar to Bitcoin. A key differentiator is that transaction fees are burned, rather than paid to miners. This puts downward pressure on the supply, thereby increasing the value of existing PPC tokens. PeerCoin is the basis for several existing projects and many high-profile forks have emerged, Emercoin being one of the most popular.

NoLimitCoin (NLC2)

NoLimitCoin Token Profile (PDF)

NoLimitCoin (NLC2) is a Proof of Stake digital token designed to power online fantasy sports games and applications. NLC2 currently powers four different gaming platforms: Crypto Fantasy Sports; No Limit Fantasy Sports (NLFS); No Cost Fantasy Sports and NFL Stat Challenge. NLFS is a fantasy sports betting platform that created the NLC2 token so that it would not need to accept fiat currency, which NLFS notes will allow the platform to “navigate around restrictive gambling laws in the United States and other countries around the world.”

Namecoin (NMC)

NAMECOIN Token Profile (PDF)

Namecoin was an early fork of Bitcoin and began as a project called Bitdns, which wanted to improve the decentralization, security and censorship resistance of certain components of the Internet infrastructure, such as domain name servers and identities. Namecoin is used to register names and store associated information in its blockchain. The project is important from a historical perspective because it was the first token to use merged-mining, a protocol that allows users to mine different tokens at the same time. It was also the first token to solve Zooko’s Triangle, a longstanding problem of creating a naming system that is simultaneously secure, decentralized and easily used and understood by humans. In March 2014, OneName, an identity system built on the Namecoin blockchain, was released and enabled the storing of usernames and personal profile data on the blockchain. In September 2015, OneName switched from the Namecoin blockchain to the Bitcoin blockchain.

Etheroll (DICE)

Etheroll Token Profile (PDF)

Etheroll is a dice game written as an Ethereum smart contract that is provably random, cryptographically secure, and provides Etheroll with a 1% house edge. Players send Ether (the bet) to Etheroll and bet that the number they chose will be greater than the number rolled by a 100-sided dice. Etheroll collects 1% of the payout to winning players as its source of revenue and the only other “fee” is the Ethereum gas charge. Holders of the native DICE token are entitled to vote on proposals from the Etheroll team and collectively they receive 100% of the profits earned from the game (the “Reward”). The Reward is paid-out during a 7-day “Rewards Period,” during which DICE tokens are frozen and non-transferable. To claim the Reward, holders must hold the tokens with their own private keys (i.e. not on an exchange) and connect to the Etheroll website using an Ethereum enabled browser (e.g. Mist, MetaMask) during the Rewards Period. During the 1st Rewards Period (August 7, 2017 – August 14, 2017), 1,400 ETH was available to DICE holders and more than 90% was claimed. 

Elastic (XEL)

Elastic Token Profile (PDF)

Analyst’s Note: One day after Elastic’s ICO, “Lannister,” one of the anonymous founding core developers of the team, left the project and took an undisclosed amount of ICO funds.

Elastic characterizes itself as a protocol for distributed computation that administers arbitrary computational tasks between buyers, who need computational resources and sellers, who have idle resources that they are willing to sell for ELC tokens.  Elastic utilizes its own programming language, Elastic PL, which is based on C. Competitors to Elastic include Golem, Zennet and Gridcoin. Looking at Elastic’s Github repository, it is clear that there has been minimal development on the project since the ICO.