ICO Analysis: Apollo18 | Hacked: Hacking Finance

September 13, 2018
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CertiK is a formal verification framework that allows you to prove mathematically that smart contracts and block-ecosystems do not contain bugs and are protected from hacker attacks.

For scaling, CertiK developed an approach based on the use of layers or layers to decompose the verification task into smaller ones.

Thus, the CertiK registration registers act as certificates, demonstrating the end-to-end validity and security of proven smart contracts and proven block-ecosystems, which makes them both entirely trustworthy.

The product consists of the following elements:

1. Smart labeling. CertiK has developed a new approach for specifying DApps/systems using labels or shortcuts.

2. Layer-based decomposition. The CertiK team is one of the first to introduce modular verification, implementing a new concept called a layered/layered depth specification.

3. Pluggable proof engine. It makes it much easier to solve such decomposed tasks, and they can even be solved in almost automatic manner.

4. Machine-checkable proof objects. The CertiK platform creates automatic validation objects (or counterexamples) that can be quickly verified by any user.

5. Certified DApp libraries. To improve the code quality and reliability of the entire community, CertiK offers a series of certified libraries and plug-ins for the integrated development environment (IDE) to create reliable DApps.

6. Customized certification services. For DApps/systems with high-reliability requirements, (i.e., digital wallets), the CertiK platform intends to provide personalized certification services.

Roadmap

In Q1 2018, the team produced alpha versions of markers, verification techniques and smart markings.

In April, they launched a beta version of the protocol and several third-party companies began to use it. The website has a video for a demo of verification protocol.

Certik has a limited version of working product. They are already accepting customers and have a revenue stream.

Competitors

Zeppelin is a provider of testing and verification services, has a significant share of the market. The main difference from the project is that most of the verification process is manual thus their scalability is questionable.

Quantstamp is an existing verification protocol for smart contracts. It uses the same manual verification methodology, which is still vulnerable to human errors and scalability problems. Nevertheless, the project has a market cap of 100-150m on average.

Thus the main competitive advantage of CertiK is its automation capacities, which in turn will limit human error and increase scalability.

Runtime Verification is a company that provides formal verification solutions, which currently provides services for verifying smart contracts. In their development, they also offered a solution for EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machines) called KEVM although their development is still in the early stages.

Market

Certik aims to take a trillion dollar market share. As the blockchain market grows, hackers and cyber criminals can cost networks millions of dollars. CertiK offers a solution to this problem. Also, during the development cycle, almost 30-40% is spent on infrastructure testing, and CertiK through the use of its libraries and plugins can decrease costs in this segment.

Token

The native digital fuel of CertiK Platform (“CTK”) is a major component of the ecosystem on the CertiK Platform. CTK is a non-refundable functional utility fuel which will be used as the unit of exchange between participants on the CertiK Platform, as well as the economic incentives which will be consumed to encourage participants to contribute and maintain the ecosystem on the CertiK Platform.”

The CertiK Platform introduces a new mining scheme, named Proof-of-Proof (PoP), involving the distribution of CTK incentives.

This PoP scheme unifies the whole community through the flow of CTKs among five different roles:

  • Customers can submit programs/systems that need verification (through the CertiK Platform’s services) or any proof obligations (that meet the open protocol) to the CertiK network. This is done by initiating and broadcasting a special “proof request” transaction associated with some CTK incentives offered for anyone who constructs the proofs.
  • Bounty hunters are the ones who aim for CTK incentives and would like to share their computation resources. They will construct and broadcast the proof objects, and then wait for the proofs to be validated. Due to the significant importance of this role, only users who possess a certain amount of CTKs are allowed to take this role.
  • Checkers can get CTK incentives by recording routine transactions or check the submitted proof objects. Bounty hunters can only receive their incentives once their proofs are validated, and checkers can also get a small portion of these incentives.
  • Sages are the ones who plug in their proof engines via the CertiK Platform’s open protocol. Their engines may be randomly used by bounty hunters and will be evaluated through A/B testing. They can also get some CTK incentives depending on the evaluation result of their engines. Outstanding engines will be studied and spread by the community.
  • Users can subscribe to all CertiK Platform’s certified libraries and IDE plug-ins to build their DApps/systems with some CTKs.

The token sale consists of three investment rounds. Each round has a different lock-up period that does not coincide with each other. Meaning that round

Team

CertiK has a fully stacked team which has professionals from legal, finance, PR and IT.

Ronghui Gui is the co-founder of the project. He is an assistant professor of computer science at Columbia University. He received his doctorate in computer science from Yale in 2016, where his thesis has received the highest grade and was nominated for the prize of the Association of Computing Machinery. He was the leading designer and developer of CertiKOS (a parallel operative system which is hacked-proof).

Zhong Shao is another co-founder. He is currently a professor and head of the department of computer science at Yale. He takes leading roles in cybersecurity, programming languages, operating systems and certified software. He and his group FLINT in Yale have developed the world’s first hacker-protected parallel operating system CertiKOS – an essential milestone in the construction of cyber-physical systems that will have full protection from software bugs.

Vilhelm Sjöberg is a research analyst. He is a researcher at Yale University. He is an expert in the field of software testing, programming languages and type systems.

So, one can say that founders have relevant academic achievements and business experience in the field.

Partners

Verdict

CertiKrepresents an actual working business, which is run by academic stars from top-tier global universities. Founders have strong industry knowledge and connections. The business model is working as the project is already generating revenue and has relevant partnerships with all big blockchains and ICO launch platforms.

Risks

  • No other team members mentioned on the website, but CertiK claims it will hire 20 developers. -0.25
  • Short roadmap. -1
  • The hard cap is around $50 million, which is rather high. -1.5
  • No information on the token distribution of company tokens (team, advisors, etc). -1
  • That the project is already accepting fiat payments may make tokens supplementary. -1
  • No information on sustainability and competitiveness of CertiK’s business model over competitors. -1

Growth Potential

  • Unique idea and solution which will help secure systems from hacks and bugs. +2
  • Top founders team. Have experience and competence to execute their vision. +2
  • MVP is in beta. The product is already used to a certain extent. +2
  • The project has active sales. Several ICOs have already used the product for their token sales. +1
  • Hype level is high. +1
  • Strong early investors, including NGC and Binance. +1.25
  • The market is lucrative and big. +1.5
  • Good lockup mechanism for different token tiers. +1
  • Signs that it will be listed on a good exchange. +1

Disposition

Overall project looks quite strong fundamentally, but the hard cap is slightly worrying and different sales tiers (every month’s circulation of tokens would be increasing, and each tier has a bigger bonus) is a bit concerning. On the other hand, CertiK has a lot of hype, connections, a working project and will be probably be listed on the exchange with a big liquidity. Overall score of 7 out of 10.

Investment Details

  • Type: Utility
  • Symbol: CTK
  • Platform: ERC-20
  • Crowdsale: No public sale, only airdrop
  • Minimum Investment:
  • Price: N/A (no public sale, only airdrop)
  • Hard Cap: $40-$50 million
  • Payments Accepted: USD, ETH, BTC
  • Restrictions Barred from Participating: China and U.S.

General details :

Website : https://certik.org/

Telegram : https://t.me/certikorg

Whitepaper : https://certik.org/docs/white_paper.pdf

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 



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