Hey, welcome back to a brand new episode of ICOJudge, brought to you by me, Mihai Catalin Teodosiu, your favorite programmer, entrepreneur, and cryptocurrency enthusiast [LinkedIn] and ICOJudge.co, the best ICO and cryptocurrency assessment service in the world!
Full disclosure! The reviews I write on my blog are 100% independent from any ICO influence, being solely my own opinions about whether an ICO or existing coin is worth any investment on my behalf or not. As always, this is not financial advice, I am not a financial advisor!
Since my first cryptocurrency reviews, I have refined the reviewing process, keeping my 10 steps intact, but making the scoring system more granular. Each item in the list is assessed either as Great (1p), Good (0.75p), Bad (0.25p) or Missing (0p).
Finally, the total score for each ICO or existing coin is calculated as the average of the scores for each item in the list.
Also, a comments section is provided for each criterion, providing further insight, if necessary.
As a personal preference, I decided to invest only in ICOs or existing coins that score over 80% (On Track or Low Risk, according to my system), no matter what people say, no matter how great the hype is or any other kind of word-of-mouth thingy that gets noobs overly excited. Yes, I really do practice what I preach.
|ICO / Coin Review|
|SCORING SYSTEM||TOTAL SCORE||STATUS CODE|
|90.00% – 100%||On Track|
|80.00% – 89.99%||Low Risk|
|70.00% – 79.99%||High Risk|
|<= 69.99%||Off Track|
Here’s my review for today’s ICO/coin, Cashaa (https://cashaa.com/):
|Item no.||Item Name||Item Score (points)|
|Item #1||The whitepaper. Is it clear and describes the project in detail?||1|
|Comments||Although not easily accessible on their website (I had to search for it on Google), Cashaa’s whitepaper is a very well-crafted document, which starts with an Executive Summary (the equivalent of an Abstract section), that paints the overall picture of the current financial landscape, payment systems and banking products. Next, the whitepaper describes Cashaa’s vision existing and future products, milestones achieved, partnerships, team members, roadmap and many other key sections and most whitepapers today fail to include. In a nutshell, Cashaa aims to implement a “blockchain-based payments system aims to lower financial inclusion barriers and provide financial services to the banked and unbanked“, on top of “a robust AI driven blockchain infrastructure which can make the legacy system obsolete”. This objective sounds quite ambitious and interesting, as well. Overall, the whitepaper is very clear and touches on most (if not all) of the key points that you have to know about a project.|
|Item #2||Do I feel like this technology will solve an existing issue?||1|
|Comments||Yes, this technology aims to solve the issue of people (around half of the world’s population) not having access to payment & banking services. Citing their whitepaper: “More than 3.5 billion people are still unbanked or underbanked and have few opportunities to have a safe and secure way to participate in the global economy.”.|
|Item #3||Does the technology solve a particular issue or tries to be the jack of all trades? (not to be confused with Item #2. Here, it’s very important to me if the team tries to address a particular problem and do it well, rather than trying to build X apps and platforms all at once, which can be counterproductive, especially when having a small team or budget)||0.25|
|Comments||At the moment, Cashaa has several products planned as part of their portfolio: Cashaa Wallet, Physical & Virtual Cards, Micro Lending, Peer-to-peer exchange (already beta-tested) and Peer-to-peer insurance. So, 4 products are still to be built and one has been beta-tested. Now, from what I see on their website, they have 11 team members and 11 advisors. Also, inside the whitepaper, they claim that in September 2017 the “Team size grew from 2 to 25 in one year with top people from Belgian Central Bank, MIT, IIT, Quatrro, First National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Microsoft, SAP, World Bank, World Economic Forum, Qualcomm and many more”. However, besides the fact that the numbers don’t really add up, it’s common sense we cannot include advisors in the team. It would’ve been really nice if Cashaa told us how many actual developers are in the team, because, no matter how many CFOs and Marketing experts they have, developers are the ones building those 5 products, right? So, not knowing the number of programmers behind the project and their background/skills and considering the scale of their future plans, I am not very convinced that trying to be the jack of all trades is the best strategy to have. However, if I am wrong at this, I would advise Cashaa’s team to tell us a bit more about their dev team.|
|Item #4||How original is the idea behind the ICO? Any other strong competitors? How can this product be a step ahead of its competition? What sets it apart from other ideas or projects?||0.25|
|Comments||There are also other projects in the cryptocurrency space that are trying to address the same issues, either partially or totally. For instance, since Cashaa tries to build several products quasi-simultaneously, there may be other projects that are focusing on one thing only (i.e. Peer-to-peer insurance) that can easily surpass one of Cashaa’s products. For instance, Cashaa is trying to build a great all-in-one wallet, but Bitquence is doing the same thing right now. Physical cards – we already have well-established names like TenX, Centra and Monaco. For Micro Lending there are WeTrust, SALT, Everex, if not even more. Insurance – WeTrust, again. Peer-to-peer exchange – there’s a new one coming out every week. Futhermore, the “Unbank the Banked” or “Bank the Unbanked” slogan became kind of mainstream in the last couple of months, and big players like OmiseGO are not to be ignored. Decentralized payment processing – there is Monetha, which is very promising. So, the landscape looks more and more crowded in the financial services ICO realm. I’m not saying there’s no more room for great projects, but those that focus on building one great product at a time have the most chances for long-term success, in my opinion.|
|Item #5||What is the number of tokens issued at ICO time? What is the total number of tokens? How do these numbers impact the price in the future?||1|
|Comments||Before discussing any numbers, I must admit they’ve done a great job to summarize all the token information in one easy-to-analyze table, inside the whitepaper. Unfortunately, not many teams bother to provide a clear picture of the token metrics. Now, back to the numbers, there will be a total of 1 billion CAS tokens, of which 51% will be available for the public sale. The starting price will be $0.10 for 1 CAS. These numbers are more than decent, considering we have a 9-figures supply ahead. Important to mention about the token sale (starting November 6th), there will be a KYP/KYC mechanism in place: “Full KYC including the identity and residency proof”.|
|Item #6||What are the token distribution stats? Is there a reasonable number of tokens available for public sale, compared to the total number of tokens? Are there too many tokens reserved for other purposes besides public sale and use?||1|
|Comments||Yes, a number of tokens available at sale time is reasonable (51%). There are an additional 24% of tokens for the company, 20% for the team and advisors and 5% for the community (things like bounty programs).|
|Item #7||Are there any current or announced partnerships with big names in the industry?||0.75|
|Comments||The partnerships Cashaa has are pretty strong and the number of partners is rather high – Auxesis (“for the AuxLedger which has 53 Million users resulting of a State Government partnership” with the Government of India), Coinfirm, TokenMarket, Celestial Holdings, Airbitz (Bitcoin wallet) and many more. However, there aren’t any partnerships with Fortune 500 companies or anything alike.|
|Item #8||Is there any existing product/prototype/alpha version for this technology? (ICO website, GitHub)||1|
|Comments||As I previously mentioned, they do have a peer-to-peer exchange which is already beta-tested, with traders from 141 countries registered and 97 different currencies.|
|Item #9||Are there any founders / developers / special advisors with a solid background in the industry or in blockchain technology?||1|
|Comments||The team is quite impressive, if you look through the names and their background. Let me summarize this for you.
Kumar Gaurav (CEO) is among top 100 most influential people in the world who are leading the evolution of Blockchain and was awarded Extraordinary status ( O1 visa) by United States government. He is also a co-founder of Darwinsurance (acquired by Esedra), Chairman of Auxesis, India’s first enterprise Blockchain company and former Project Engineer at Wipro Technologies.
Celestine Vettical (Co-founder) is a former CEO of Perfomix – A Baker Hughes Company, VP of Strategic Alliances at Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), Worldwide Director of Manufacturing Industry Solutions at Microsoft and Director of Business Development at SAP. Amazing background for this guy, I must admit.
Simo Mcunu (VP Sales – Africa) caught my attention because of his experience as a Corporate Banking Analyst at FNB and also Rand Merchant Bank, two of the largest banks in South Africa. Simo also holds a BS Degree in Business Science and Management from the University of Pretoria.
Now, for some of the advisors:
Bernard Lietaer, also known as the “Architect of the Euro” for designing the ECU, while he was at the Central bank of Belgium, is also the well-known author of “The Future of Money”. More info here: http://www.lietaer.com/about/bio/. Bernard is definitely a great addition to the advisory board of Cashaa.
John Henry Clippinger is a Reasearch Scientist at MIT (subject: Trust Frameworks for open mobile platforms), Big Data Working Group Member at the World Economic Forum and Advisor for the Bancor Foundation. He also holds a PhD in Computational Linguistics and AI from the University of Pennsylvania.
Anil Earla is the Head of Information and Data Analytics at Visa for over 5 years now and holds various degrees from the Harvard Business School, Stanford University School of Business and Jackson State University (MS in Computer Science).
Dinesh Prasad is a Senior Director of Sales and Business Development at Qualcomm India and former Manager of Technical Sales at Ericsson India, so he is yet another great addition to the team of advisors at Cashaa.
|Item #10||Is there an active online community? (Slack, Telegram, Discord, Twitter, Facebook) Are people talking about this ICO on YouTube? Is there any hype around the project?||0.75|
|Comments||Although not even launched, Cashaa has a great number of followers on Facebook (over 4k) and Twitter (over 5k). However, their Telegram and Discord channels are pretty low when it comes to members and activity – a few hundred members on each, with not too many posts, discussions, and announcements. Their LinkedIn and YouTube profiles are still in their infancy. However, given that the ICO hasn’t even started yet, they seem to be spread across multiple social media channels right from the beginning, and I think there’s definitely a lot of room for growth. One thing to mention here, I think at some point they may have to decide on either Telegram or Discord as their main communication channel.|
Considering all the pluses and minuses above, I think 8 is a score that best describes the current state of this project. Yes, I will consider investing in this ICO, but it definitely needs some improvements and a high level of commitment by the team, in order to make the idea a reality, in a space where more and more great ICOs are emerging each and every day.