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, Raiden Network (https://raiden.network/):
|Item no.||Item Name||Item Score (points)|
|Item #1||The whitepaper. Is it clear and describes the project in detail?||0|
|Comments||Although it has some documentation (here, here and here), the Raiden Network didn’t bother to create a proper whitepaper before asking for funding. Actually, they have specified in their FAQ section that “Is there a white paper? Unfortunately not yet. We have been busy researching and developing the software. But a protocol specification is in the making and at some point, the final design will be presented in a white paper.”. Is this for real? This isn’t even a “whitepaper ICO”. The information is scattered all over the place. By far, this is the most disappointing ICO analysis I’ve ever made. Are we supposed to believe that this project will be fully implemented, given that they weren’t able to put together a whitepaper? Unfortunately, 0p is the least I can give here.|
|Item #2||Do I feel like this technology will solve an existing issue?||1|
|Comments||The Raiden Network aims to solve the micro-transactions fees issue outside the blockchain (off-chain). According to their documentation: “Any transaction on the Ethereum blockchain comes at a cost depending on the transaction’s required computational resources. Accordingly, fees are largely independent of the actual amount of value transferred, be it ERC20 tokens or Ether itself. This makes on-chain transactions best-suited for medium to large value transfers, but less so for transactions on the scale of a few dollars or even fractions of a cent. […]The true strength of Raiden lies in its network protocol. Since opening and closing a payment channel between two peers still requires on-chain transactions, creating channels between all possible peers becomes infeasible. As it turns out, however, you do not need a direct payment channel between a payer and a payee if there exists at least one route through a network of channels that connects the two parties, as shown in figure 2. This network and its associated protocol for routing and interlocking channel transfers is called the Raiden Network.”|
|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)||0.75|
|Comments||Raiden Network tries to solve a particular issue, as described above. The project aims to build three products: first, Micro-Raiden, which will be deployed on the Ethereum main net shortly, as they claim. However, “shortly” seems kind of vague, considering their ICO was supposed to be launched in March 2017 and here we are in late October. So they may have some problems estimating launch dates. The second product is the Raiden Network itself (still in development) and the third one is Raidos (“currently only in its planning phase and development has not been kicked off yet”), a “sidechain technology to generalize state channels”. Will they be able to build all that’s been promised? We shall see.|
|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 lots of “low-fees, instant payment systems” being launched nowadays, so the idea behind Raiden is not that unique. However, trying to build an off-chain micro-payments system might prove to be a differentiating factor.|
|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||The total number of RDN tokens will be 100,000,000, with just 50,000,000 tokens available for public acquisition. Such a small token supply is definitely a plus for Raiden Network, compared to more and more ICOs launching billions of low-value tokens in the market.|
|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?||0.25|
|Comments||50% of the total supply of tokens will be “reserved for early supporters, development grants, long-term protocol advancement and ecosystem support, BBLE and Affiliates”. Are the “Early supporters” the whales that will dump the tokens on EtherDelta right after the ICO? We shall see. Anyway, kind of a big percentage of tokens reserved for non-public purchases.|
|Item #7||Are there any current or announced partnerships with big names in the industry?||0|
|Comments||Haven’t found any.|
|Item #8||Is there any existing product/prototype/alpha version for this technology? (ICO website, GitHub)||0.75|
|Comments||Yes, they do have a prototype of Micro-Raiden on their GitHub page at https://github.com/raiden-network/microraiden, but, as stated above, the other two products are still in the development/planning phase. Also, the project doesn’t seem to have a clearly defined roadmap. Yes, one with some actual dates, like Q1 2018, Q3 2056, you know… And if they do have such a roadmap, they’re doing a hell of a good job hiding it.|
|Item #9||Are there any founders / developers / special advisors with a solid background in the industry or in blockchain technology?||0.75|
|Comments||Now, seriously, they don’t have a whitepaper on their website. Did you expect to see any team members listed anywhere? In their FAQ section, they do mention that Raiden Network is developed by Brainbot (http://www.brainbot.com/), which is a 17 years old German company, founded by Heiko Hees, having 20 employees listed on LinkedIn.
Heiko Hees does seem to be a superstar, being the founder of Brainbot and an Ethereum Core Developer.
Eleftherios Karapetsas is a Senior Software Engineer and Team Lead at Brainbot, also a (former) Ethereum developer and Software Developer at Oracle.
Philipp Seifert is the Asia Business Lead at Brainbot, a former Financial Services Consultant at PwC and Intern at BNP Paribas.
The other team members are not superstar-ish, so I won’t mention them here.
Yes, the hype around Raiden can be traced back to its founder being a Core Developer at Ethereum, but why not mention that in a dedicated Team section on the website? Beats me.
|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?||0.25|
|Comments||The Twitter page is not active on a daily basis and has just over 3.5k followers, which is pretty low for such a hyped ICO. Their riot.im communication channel hosts about 1600 (not-so-engaged) members at the time of this writing, so not very impressive, unfortunately. The team should really work on growing the community and keeping people up-to-date with the status of the project, to build a large group of fans and supporters, not coin-flippers, otherwise, it may find itself in a “pump-and-dump” scenario the second the token hits the exchange.|
Maybe one of the weakest ICOs I’ve had the chance to review, not necessarily because of the project, token metrics or team, but the website, lack of whitepaper, information gaps, and low community numbers. Will I invest in this ICO? Definitely NOT. However, the sale is ongoing, so if you want to contribute to this project, please refer to https://token.raiden.network/
P.S.: For crying out loud, learn to put together a whitepaper, website, social media presence and communication channel, before asking people to invest in your project! It’s common sense, people! Don’t know what it takes to have it all in top shape? Check out my ICO Services here and ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you.