ICO Analysis: Arweave | Hacked.com
With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies comes a growing demand for exchanges where the various cryptocurrencies can be traded. And although cryptocurrency exchanges have seen huge growth during the past couple of years, it’s still not showing any signs of slowing down.
We now have a large selection of both traditional centralized and newer decentralized crypto exchanges to choose from. Some of these exchanges accept trading between national (“fiat”) currencies and cryptocurrencies, while most only allow for trading between cryptocurrencies.
Mandala is a planned cryptocurrency and blockchain asset exchange that distinguishes itself from other established exchanges by being focused primarily on simplicity and user-friendliness for people who are new to trading and investing.
According to the company, people who are new to investing makes up the majority of current and future cryptocurrency investors. Mandala is therefore aiming to be the gateway for these people into the cryptocurrency universe, in a similar way to the purpose Coinbase has served over the past few years.
The Mandala team argues that as more and more big companies announce that they are exploring blockchain initiatives, the public will become more comfortable with the technology and more and more people will want to invest in cryptocurrencies. This will in turn lead to an exponentially growing flow of money into the crypto space, which translates into more business for crypto exchanges of all types.
The most obvious problem when it comes to the Mandala ICO is the lack of any minimum viable product (MVP) or prototype. According to the roadmap on the website, the beta release of the exchange is scheduled for the third quarter of 2018, which is well after the start of the public token sale, which is set to begin on June 1.
It is also still unclear if Mandala will be a crypto-only exchange or if fiat currencies will also be accepted. The company writes on its website that they “hope” to be able to accept fiat currencies for trading “as the laws and compliance regulations allow.” In other words, we don’t know if fiat will eventually be accepted for trading on the Mandala exchange. However, given the strict regulatory requirements of most jurisdictions, and the fact that Mandala as of yet is not regulated by anybody, we have to assume that fiat trading will not be available in the foreseeable future.
In addition to the exchange itself, the team also plans to add a backtesting tool to let users easily test the reliability of technical trading indicators like the MACD or Moving Averages. It should be mentioned that this is something that is very difficult to create as an accurate and reliable tool. It is something for example TradingView has worked on for years, and even their solution is far from easy to use for beginners. With that said, IF the company manages to pull this off successfully, it would be a huge plus for the platform as a whole.
The Cayman Islands-based company Mandala Holdings, LLC is issuing a utility token called MDX on the Ethereum blockchain.
The MDX token is intended to be used to pay for trading fees and commissions, and also as a currency to pay for purchases on the built-in marketplace that the team is planning to set up within the Mandala platform.
Similar to many other exchanges, users who pay their trading fees with the MDX token will receive significant discounts.
Approximately two thirds of the tokens will be available for sale, while the remaining tokens will be distributed as follows:
- Team – 20%
- Company reserve – 10%
- Advisors, influencers and bounty – 5%
The current pre-ICO price of the MDX token is $0.07 + 25% bonus. During the first stage of the public token sale, the price will be $0.06 before it rises to $0.07.
The first thing I always do when research an ICO team is to check the LinkedIn profiles of the key team members. This is a really simple way to check their level of commitment to the company launching the ICO, and very often I find the same result: Most of the team members haven’t even listed the company on their LinkedIn.
In the case of Mandala, the two co-founders have both listed the company as their employer. The Chief Marketing Officer, on the other hand, has no mention of Mandala on his personal profile.
The Chief Technical Officer, Zach Daniels, lists Mandala as one of six current employers on LinkedIn, which makes us seriously question his level of commitment to the company.
The CEO and co-founder of Mandala is Nate Flanders. Nate has a diverse background as founder of a blockchain-based online casino and a phone repair company in Florida. According to his LinkedIn profile, Nate is still working as Vice President of Operations at the online casino while he is setting up Mandala.
The other co-founder and CSO of Mandala is Chicago man Anant Handa. Just like the CEO, Anant also has a background in the phone repair business, and he remains CEO of ReVamp Electronics. In addition, Anant also remains an advisor to BitWatch.io, an app that helps crypto traders manage their trading activities and portfolios.
All in all, the two co-founders both have entrepreneurial experience and first-hand experience with blockchain technology, which is undoubtedly a positive for Mandala.
The main problem when it comes to the Mandala ICO is clearly the lack of any prototype or MVP to demonstrate that the team is capable of building the platform they describe in the white paper. It should be clear for everyone that investing in an ICO that has nothing more than a website and a white paper is a very risky venture.
Regulations also pose a question mark when it comes to this ICO. It is unclear if the platform will be able to accept fiat currencies at this point, and we frankly don’t know if they will be able to obtain any regulatory approvals at all.
What we do know is that the company says they are “thoroughly researching and studying all applicable laws and will be be properly registered with the appropriate governing bodies, including the SEC and the CFTC[…]”
Unfortunately, the white paper that the team has prepared also appears somewhat generic and lacks details on how the platform will work.
- With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies comes an increase in demand for exchanges. Simplistic exchanges that are targeting new traders and investors certainly have a place in this space. +3
- If the team can build user-friendly and reliable tools for backtesting of technical indicators and trading signals, that would be a big plus and could provide a boost for the platform as a whole. +4
- The two co-founders have previous experience with blockchain projects, and the overall team appears competent, although we do have questions regarding the level of commitment from certain team members. +3
- Generic-looking white paper with very few technical details on how the platform will work. A lot of general commentary about cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as well as visions and ideas for the coming Mandala exchange. -2
- No minimum viable product (MVP). According to the roadmap, the beta release of the platform is scheduled for Q3 2018, with the full platform expected by the end of the year. Investing in ICOs with no MVP should always be considered high-risk. -4
- The press releases published by the company, as well as the white paper, talks a lot about all the regulatory approvals that the team is planning to get, but lacks any details on what they have already acquired. -2
In summary, we believe that the idea of a simplistic exchange for new crypto traders is good, and we do think there will be a growing demand for this type of exchanges. The success of Coinbase clearly shows that this is something that can work very well if carried out in the right way.
Unfortunately, we cannot recommend investing in an ICO without an MVP, without knowing if the platform will accept fiat, without any regulatory approvals, and with a very general white paper without technical details.
Overall, we arrive at a score of 2 out of 10 for the Mandala ICO.
- Token Type: Utility
- Platform: Ethereum ERC20
- Symbol: MDX
- Pre-ICO: Ongoing until May 31, 2018
- Public ICO: Starting June 1, 2018
- Token Supply: 400 million
- Tokens Available for Sale: 260 million (65%)
- Soft cap: $3 million
- Hard cap: $18 million
- Price: Pre-sale: $0.07 + 25% bonus, crowd sale: $0.06-$0.07
- Minimum investment: 0.10 ETH/0.01 BTC/0.5 LTC
- Payments Accepted: ETH, BTC, LTC
- Jurisdictions Barred from Participating: USA
Featured image from Pixabay.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term trading. The author has no investment in Mandala at the time of writing.
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