EthCrowdfund is a subreddit dedicated to news covering past and present crowdsale events funding Ethereum blockchain organizations. Posts include, but are not limited to, discussion related to the Digix, Augur and Plutus crowdfunding events.
Would it be possible to use slockit to create a safety deposit box which could used to issue local fiat currency tokens on the Ethereum blockchain? The idea being that the user deposits cash into a slockit lock box, a smart contract then issues tokens used to redeem that cash. Anybody in possession of the token could redeem it at any slockit lock box worldwide? It would solve currency vol concerns for remittance.
First, can we be reminded that Stephan is HUMAN and like the rest of us, he shouldn’t be held to a standard of perfection. Next, this dude has been a true pioneer in this space and member of this community for years. The way I see it, Stephan has additionally been on the forefront of educating the community about Ethereum and TheDao with a level-headed approach and he’s been consistently transparent and diligent in answering any and all (frankly, even rude unfaiuninformed) questions that members of the community have thrown at him lately. It truly has been disheartening to read some of the personal attacks against him calling him “greedy” and “money grubbing” when all he is doing is creating a dialogue through blog posts about the need for a security proposal. It’s wonderful that this community has been quick to scrutinize proposals with potentially frivolous line items. But to attack the character of a man with a squeaky-clean record that has given this community so much is shameful. I appreciate what Stephan is doing for this community and encourage him to stay positive and level-headed in this slew of name calling and childishness.
Daonuts is a community project to provide Ethereum based tools for Reddit communities. These tools will integrate directly into the Reddit ui. This is an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate the power of Ethereum to users of one of the most trafficked web destinations in the world. But more importantly, it opens the door to self-sovereign communities - communities that exist on their own and have the tools to chart their own destiny.
What is the project objective?
The objective is to explore and ultimately deliver tooling for Reddit communites to run, maintain, and improve themselves.
Why does this project need Ethereum?
Ethereum provides the infrastucture for the existence and true ownership of digital assets. These digital assets, along with the transparency Ethereum offers, are necessary for the full exploration of tooling communities could leverage to run, maintain, and improve themselves.
What will the project deliver?
While this list should evolve based on project scope and community feedback, some of the functionality Daonuts could provide in a fully decentralised manner are:
reputation derived commerce tokens
governance & general polling
community chosen moderators
community chosen rules & constitution
Harberger-style asset ownership
post curation mechanisms
token curated list
How can I contribute?
There are two inter-relating areas to this project:
The development and documentation of technical components - the development and communication of application programming interfaces (APIs) for reference by Reddit developers, writing and auditing smart contracts, and building various off-Reddit components like websites and scripts. This work will mostly be locatable in project github repos.
The development of governance & community mechanics - thinking through ramifications for governance, coming up with better ideas and experimenting with them. This work should primarily be locatable on /daonuts.
How will the donuts interface with Reddit?
The Daonuts project would be responsible for delivering a smart contract system capable of replacing Reddit’s database as the source of truth for certain functionality. Reddit would be responsible for reading data from the smart contract system, displaying it in a friendly user interface, and providing mechanisms for interacting with the smart contracts1. It should be noted, though, that this project is at an early stage. A primary objective is to fail fast and learn things.
Is this project funded?
Since the approvals necessary within Reddit have been received we can now investigate funding opportunities and it remains an open question. Perhaps worth noting, though, that funding for the Ethereum side of this project will not come from Reddit.
What tools and technology will this project use?
This is also an important open question. At these early stages reviews of existing tools and their applicability would be warranted. Should it build on existingDAOframeworks? Can we leverage the existing Reddit specific work that the RECDAO project initiated? To provide a frictionless web3.0 user experience should the project leverage Ethereum side-chain technology? If you have experience or familiarity with these tools then your contribution would be particularly appreciated.
What reasonable steps could Slock.It take to help re-establish confidence in them and The DAO concept for a second attempt?
At it's core, the concept and potential of The DAO hasn't changed - the problem was with the execution of this first attempt. There was, and still is significant community interest in attempting this again so long as the core issues that led to the failure of the original "The DAO" are addressed and appropriate risk management is undertaken the second time around. So what reasonable steps might Slock.It consider taking in order to:
Restore crypto-community confidence in the concept
Restore the general public's confidence
Address the problems that caused the original failure
Limit the risk of any future failure given that the "hard fork" option is no longer on the table
How much do you think the slock.it team need for their 'first' proposal.
As per the options stated in their draft proposal, their first proposal will be to build the first generation ethereum computer (repackaging existing computer components into a nice looking box and installing ubuntu to run an ethereum node. Then outsourcing that process to create enough units to start selling on amazon). And having 3 people coding the USN (the USN will be built on ethereum, ethereum will handle all the computation and security so they dont need servers etc, they just need to write, test and deploy code. Similar to writing code to create the DAO itself). Option 1: $500,000 which was already stated as their required amount to perform these initial tasks. Option 2: $800,000 what they require as a minimum plus extra to ensure quality of work / extra features. Option 3: $1 million to give them free money for no reason. Option 4: $2 million so as to make this project unprofitable for the DAO for years into the future, and to give them even more free money for no reason. Future proposals may be along the lines of hiring a team for partnerships and marketing or building the 2nd generation EC or an asic EC embedded in qualcomm devices or whatever. But as far as this first proposal goes, just for the basic first generation EC, and to code the USN, plus social network exposure. I believe $800k is more than enough.
This is a request that has to do with the DAO counter-attack plan as discussed in the past here and here. People from the Robin hood group have made the following proposals which are going to reach their debate period end quite soon. It would be really nice if any DTH who would like to help, vote in favour of the following proposals:
At the moment there is a lot of work regarding the HF by many developers in the Ethereum community. This plan is unrelated to the HF and is just something to have as a backup in case the HF does not happen. Your help is going to be appreciated. Edit: Chance of success Note that this move does not guarantee any money back, and should not affect any decisions on HF. As already stated many times both in the blogpost and elsewhere the counter-attack has a lot of moving parts and without an SF it's almost guaranteed that it will not return most of the funds to the DTH. This move is just to help the robin hood in case an HF does not go through. Edit3: Voting Instructions
What Dapps are on your radar for potential crowdsales? The more I look into Slock.it, the more I find myself beginning to understand its potential. But anyway, what DApps do you find capturing your attention terms of its potential and market impact?
While everyone is patting themselves on the back for forking, i am wondering how do we prevent smart contract hacks in the future?
Not to be a bummer here, I'm happy the ethereum team is so happy for forking their chain successfully, and there is certainly enough posts and congratulations ...like, everywhere (makes you doubt the actual sincerity of the posts and question how much of it is a media campaign)....but I am curious as to what is being done to implement safe smart contracts in the future? We can't keep forking ethereum every time a contract gets hacked. And now that Slockit is pretty much out of the picture, where does that leave the Ethereum computer and the Universal sharing network, which as I understood, was to be the foundation for the expansion of the Ethereum network?
Ethereum is almost certainly the number 2 coin in comedy gold. It will likely surpass Bitcoin in comedy gold long before it passes it in market cap. Thanks in large part to a spam-based marketing campaign on Reddit, it also has a dedicated base of critics. After its IPO, it was known as “Inthereum” for a while, infinitely powerful of course, as vaporware can do anything. It had a major version release, then another. Finally, a major smart contract, in terms of valuation, came along: The DAO. Not to be confused with other DAOs, before and after. The DAO was the biggest. It was going to be the best; it already was the best! Euphoria was off the charts. Until just a few months in, a bug was found. And the killer app became the flash point. What could they do? Well, hard fork and give the money back, of course! And so they did. “Code is Law”; but this is actually good for Ethereum because “[a]lthough some do question the analogy ‘code is law’. I do not. We just found out that we have a supreme court, the community!”  After the D'OH, Ethereum struggles to top its ATH comedy gold, but there is still a bright future for popcorn and comedy gold from Ethereum.
5 Largest Veins of Comedy Gold
Here are the largest comedy gold veins in Ethereum in potential reserves in our estimation in approximately descending order:
Cultlike euphoria - Now, this can certainly be said to be common to almost all cryptocurrencies. But Ethereum seems special here, even more than Bitcoin's community. There is a real belief here that this coin is going to change the world. This helps play into a "this is very good for Ethereum" mindset, wherein even the D'OH fork was a great success!
Vitalik Buterin - The best name in cryptocurrency! Young genius central to Ethereum and almost universally seen as the most important leader in the project. In our view, his endorsement and leadership during the D'OH fork led to that route being taken. That is, we believe if he had opposed it from the start, he may have been able to prevent it or at least have led to what is now called ETC being the dominant of the two.
And so in our view, Mr. Buterin runs a billion dollar cryptocurrency right now. He and his team seem to have done reasonably well so far; it seems likely they'll continue to thrive. To the best of my knowledge, confirmed on /ethereum, there hasn't been a drug market implemented in Ethereum or trading with ETH so far. But while it seems like a terrible idea, because of the lack of privacy and proven mutability of contracts, it seems like eventually there's going to be a major drug market accepting ETH just because it has such a high value. And, they point out, monero and zcoin’s core privacy feature will apparently be available on ETH after this next fork, so look forward to anonymous ETH fueling drug markets! And then the interesting question will be raised of how Chief Justice Buterin will rule on the case, whether it is worthy of an intervention or not. If not a drug market, then another buggy and hacked contract. Or a hacked exchange, and the question of whether to make it or its users whole, or "let the hacker win".
DAOs - From the beginning, it was proposed that Ethereum itself and its reserve fund would be turned into a DAO. How exactly this was going to happen would be figured out later of course. There was an initial estimate of 2016 for the transition.
Of course, in 2016, The DAO and the D'OH happened. I'm not aware of a current further push to put all of ETH's future funding into a DAO. But I'm sure the topic will resurface. And it will be hilarious on so many levels. The DAO actually collapsed too soon for peak comedy gold extraction. It had been predicted that there would be no consensus on any proposals and that nothing would be funded, and that there would be gold from that. But it was just a few months in when the bug was found. And while the D'OH fork was certainly a rich vein of comedy gold, it wasn't as rich as what the DAO could have been if it had floundered around for a year or so before the hack. Surprisingly, there's actually a running, apparently working DAO on ETH that was started even before The DAO: digixDAO. If it keeps on running, it will continue to be hilarious as other DAOs fail to learn from it. If it fails, there's all the more hilarity for Ethereum, making it the platform where anything complicated enough to look like an original use case will break. The very existence of digix is proof-of-comedy-gold.
Immutability - The whole central notion of immutability is going to be a recurring question for Ethereum after the D'OH. While there was a lot of sentiment of "just this once and never again" at the time, there will someday be another major issue, and the precedent will mean that at least a major debate among the community will be had. Ethereum is "mostly immutable". Bitcoin is far better protected here, because while it's true they've hard forked to fix a bug before, that was years ago and the community is far more fractured now. Ethereum has a demonstrated capacity to do both routine and controversial hard forks. This strength is also a challenge, as it will invite constant legal and ethical questions about when it's appropriate to modify the chain itself with a fork: that is, rolling back some or all transactions after major bugs, thefts, frauds, and so forth.
Concentration of funds - This one I'm just guessing at. Although rich lists do exist, obviously one entity like an exchange could pool funds in an address without one person owning that much, or one person could splits their coins among many accounts. But it gives a rough guide. In Bitcoin, the top 113 addresses, having more than 10,000 BTC, in total are 17.46% of the current supply [ 2 ]. And in Ethereum, it's true that the top two accounts are marked as exchange accounts [ 3 ]. Still, having lots of funds concentrated in a single exchange wallet seems to still have some potential for comedy gold. In Ethereum, the top 50 addresses have more than double the proportion of the top 113 in Bitcoin, a bit over 40% of the current supply. My guess would be there are still a lot of people who invested heavily in the initial ICO who have held onto a significant portion of their initial ETH. While some of these top addresses are exchanges, I think there are probably many individuals represented in here as well, and every one of them is a multimillionaire from this account alone.
Of course, so far, because ETH is still smaller than BTC in overall market cap, these top addresses aren't as huge as the top addresses in Bitcoin in current market value. But if ETH were to overtake BTC's current position with a relatively unchanged distribution, there would be some real comedy gold coming off this factor. Cribs could have a spin-off Ethereum series. This concentration was a part of making The D'OH what it was in my view as well: in Bitcoin, there would never have been so much of the coin tied up in one particular venture, at least not now. But in Ethereum, this concentration and groupthink can combine to hilarious effect.
A Brief History of Comedy Gold in Ethereum:
“Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made” - John Godfrey Saxe In the beginning, there was an offering. The greatest coin the world had ever seen; step right up and buy it! There was even code; this is no vaporware! Sure, there was more work to be done, but the ICO would fund that work, the founders would get a little, and create a reserve for the future and the rest would be mineable. There was also some of the most vociferous objections on BCT, declaring that the stake allocated to the founders was too large, pointing to other coins which had done smaller or done without. Arguing against the reserve; arguing against having a presale at all. Some people, of course, completely failing to read the documentation accurately to see what was even being proposed. And an almost complete radio silence from this large team working around the clock on Ethereum. It took some months from when the initial ANN was made until the sale actually started, but by the time they had their sale, they had perhaps the best documentation at launch to-date. Of course, there were some areas which seemed to lack some detail, like the budgeting, but never mind that, it was finally launching! Launching the sale, at least. In July and August of 2014, Ether was first sold. It was described as “fuel” for the virtual machine they were going to build [ 4 ]. And then, a year later, Ethereum was released live. By July 2016, it had already had its first major crisis after The DAO was hacked and the D’OH fork introduced in response. But the fact that Ethereum was ever released, and that it was released so quickly, is truly incredible. There was more than one person who thought that the stated goals of Ethereum were not possible. And, of course, many initial goals and deadlines didn’t happen. But unlike the railbirds on BCT were convinced, the team did not fail nor did it run off with the money. They were given a blank check, and they actually delivered a working product which has been successful so far financially. Of course, having its flagship smart contract go belly-up quite so quickly after having finally gotten a “killer app” seems rather unfortunate. The oracle problem (the question of how to reliably relate smart contracts to the outside world) seems unresolved, but partial solutions are inevitable and can only serve to make increasingly complex and thus popcorn-loaded contracts possible. Right now, all seems relatively quiet. But rest assured, there remains plenty of euphoria and gas to drive many more cycles of comedy gold production. Ether huffers need something to throw their ETH at. The more complicated; the better! Given some of the creations that have been made in NXT, for instance, a few more years of creativity on ETH should yield some very complicated and pop-corn rich smart contracts.
I was relaxing in my office, waiting for business. It was a dingy little one-room affair, but it would serve for now. Particularly with no clients. I had poured myself a double shot, and was about to enjoy it, when suddenly the door opened. A man walked in, familiar somehow although I couldn't place him. I reached out my hand instinctively, and instead of shaking it, he handed me a dollar. "Hello?" He pointed at the sign in the window, advertising a promotional one dollar gold survey for the first client. Always astute, I quickly surmised he wished to hire me. "Of course, sir! What coin would you like?" "Ethereum." "Certainly! And may I have your name for the log?" "Tyler Durdan." And with that, my newest client left. I downed my double and poured a generous triple to follow it. This was going to be a long day. Ethereum was the ultimate prize in my line of work. The coin which proved the adage that truth is stranger than fiction; which had proved itself a lucrative source of comedy gold. And who am I? Guy Noir, private comedy gold surveyor. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Premined scamcoins crashing on noname exchanges. I watched popcorn glitter in the dark on forgotten the BCT threads. Popcorn junkies strung out on a high, and I've delivered them more comedy gold, popcorn, salt and butter. There is never enough. A dark night in a world that never sleeps and knows how to keep its secrets...But on the 12th Floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, private comedy gold surveyor. Thank you, Narrator. Now, as I was saying, Ethereum is overloaded with gold. But the core is pretty straightforward: Ethereum promised "smart contracts". Immutable. Turing-complete. This was what Bitcoin lacked. The bee's knees. Crypto 2.0. What could go wrong? We'll skip over the "Inthereum" period. Perhaps the vaporware criticism was never fair: from their version, they had Proof-of-Concept code; they went through some iterations and eventually got to release. Let's note clearly that there was plenty of time to determine some sort of official policy for what to do about a buggy or improperly written contract losing money. In Bitcoin, every hack has been a SFYL event, although it’s true that a bug in the coin itself was hard forked away before. Mt. Gox tried to blame malleability, but there was never a fork to try to recover funds. In Ethereum, immutability was often talked about. So far as I saw in skimming, “what if” scenarios to undo bugs wasn’t brought up front-and-center. Nor was immutability being debated that I saw. So Ethereum releases. A major contract is launched, The DAO, which gets an astonishing portion of ETH invested. The world's largest crowd sale as they ultimately called it. All the major players in ETH buy into it, including Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum and the best name in cryptocurrency. Just as they're starting to get into the comedy gold that The DAO doesn't really have a purpose, a bug is discovered. And just as its leader is assuring everyone that no funds are at risk, the funds start being drained out of the contract by an unknown party. And suddenly immutable means "immutable unless we screw up on the biggest contract which everyone important has invested in heavily". Ethereum ultimately hard-forks to return investor funds and basically unwind The DAO. After claiming that the bug was in the contract, the coin itself is hard forked to fix the issue. And the first Ethereum clone results, one which simply does not follow the new hard fork. So the natural question is: when can a contract be changed? In the first page of the Ethereum launch, this question was implied by asking about what would happen if there were an assassination market hosted by a smart contract on Ethereum. Of course, in reality, Ethereum is not really functional enough at present to enforce such a contract, but the question remains in case Ethereum were to actually attain a functioning smart contract platform. Attempted reference to Tears in rain monologue, credit to Rutger Hauer Guy Noir and narrator text lovingly stolen from Prairie Home Companion's Guy Noir, by Garrison B. Keillor.
Filed for psych eval Twenty pages into the BCT ANN, I believe I have contracted cancer, again. I’m reminded of why I don’t generally go on BCT. As bad as altcoin forums tend to be for their circlejerking, it’s almost better than the, well, there’s really no way to put it other than FUD that inevitably appears in response to anything. Of course, it’s not paid shilling so much as it is willful and vocal ignorance. For all the critiques in that thread, most of them are utter nonsense and simply are misreading the initial information. On the other hand, it’s January 27th in the thread by now, with February 1st and the pre-sale start, and they don’t have their “prospectus” up yet. I also haven’t seen the change in mining rate yet. Side note: eMunie; wtf? I guess I missed something? Either it’s gone through a namechange or it’s dead, because a quick coinmarketcap search didn’t find anything. A comedy gold mining project for another day. Great; spoiler alert: fundraiser delayed apparently, so even more cancer to read through in that thread on the way to getting to a prospectus! The first 44 pages of the thread was summarized thus: “I want to believe. Why are you not speaking to us? Throw me a bone. Just tell me what I want to hear, and I'll gladly throw my money in.” [ 5 ] Would that I had only had to read that quote rather than all 44 pages, and facing many more. Pages and comments dragged on as I waded through the low-grade popcorn. When would this prospectus be released, so my torment would end? Oh god: a side-thread shows that by the time they get to April, there’s still no prospectus or presale date or estimate of when there may be a date [ 6 ]. It’s time to give up on reading through the cancerous mainthread on BCT and start jumping ahead pages to find the pre-sale and prospectus. Okay, finally, in July, they release documents and start the sale [ 7 ]. Good enough. I have mountains of links on my desk. Comedy gold is overflowing, but this is a survey expedition, not a mining operation. But by the time it’s surveyed, there’s always so much gold lined up to mine it gets hard to leave it behind and leave with the samples. It’s time to hammer out some copy and close this file. Folks, we hope you’ve enjoyed this descent into madness and comedy gold brought to you by the Comedy Gold Survey Company and our patron Tyler Durden. Do you need more comedy gold in your life? Of course you do! So please donate today; every $1 helps! I’ve added a new special: $5 lets you choose the next coin to be surveyed! Thanks again to Tyler Durden, and I will now be re-watching Fight Club and questioning my sanity. Cheers y’all! Resources:
[ 6 ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=448923.msg6438910#msg6438910 - April 28th, 2014; Ursium says “We won't issue further comments regarding the Ether Sale, until we have completely finalized the framework for it. In the meantime enjoy the free technology, people are already building apps on it, which is exciting Smiley” ; this official Q&A thread then abandoned; these guys clearly hates BCT as much as I do
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=412878.msg4497464#msg4497464 charleshoskinson, January 14th, 2014; “Current plans are for a 60 day fundraiser, starting from Miami on; however, we are still exploring this and thus will set something in stone closer to the conference.” - fundraiser launches in less than a month but date not even set yet; also “No, the rate of inflation is always decreasing and comparable with bitcoin.” and “In terms of ROI, this should be reflected with a positive ROI.” ; also “As for P2P exchange, we have a close relationship with Open Transactions and combined with a namecoin style contract provided in the whitepaper and bitmessage makes a significantly more efficient distributive exchange than is possible with BitShares. Trust is not required as auditing can be done on Ethereum blockchain and we wouldn't suffer any bloat. “
[ ] https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/White-Paper - Accessed Feb 12, 2017; shows a different version of the issuance model, including the variable presale price modification and reduced future mining. But constant mining reward is still shown and fixed.
[ ] https://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/2007/whitepaper-pdf - Thread from April 2015 where Stephen Tual says changes in whitepaper were “as to how significant these were, probably not much”; “We had a hosted copy of the WP on our .org website, but that is now pointing to the github (as the pdf, by definition, was static).”
[ ] https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,1854.0.html Thread which goes into Bytemaster response to initial Ethereum proposal; points out that running something complicated like Bitshares on Ethereum would be cost prohibitive. Also predicts Ethereum becomes PoS.
[ ] https://github.com/slockit/DAO “Our Standard DAO Framework allows people to create Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) governed by the code in this repository written immutably to the blockchain.”
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4690140#msg4690140 - “I think this whole project will get forced underground onto the Tor network in short order because the illegal stuff will be in the blockchain instead of externalized. It will have to directly compete with bitcoin with both hands tied behind its back because it will be hard for people to even find a safe copy of the program to download. Am I to understand that you will not have a legal opinion supporting what you are doing?” - Seth Otterstad
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4718951#msg4718951 “We will switch our PoW from Dagger to a hybrid PoW/PoS system to be developed via a bountied competition conducted by our university partners and open to the general community for participation. The terms will be announced in late february including judges, specifications and the university partners.” - jubalix quoting some Ethereum promotional document
[ ] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=428589.msg4740396#msg4740396 “Creating the platform with new features is one thing. Competing in the real world of hype, adoption, and social marketing with Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin is a completely different beast. Especially, when every coin is based on ever changing software. The software is secondary to the marketing and socialization at this stage in the ballgame.” - DieJohnny
The Crowdsale Analyst: ether.camp - the altruistic hackathon platform?
ether.camp is launching their crowdsale in just two days hack.ether.camp/sale. This is one of the most loudly debated projects in recent weeks, mainly because of their 50 million USD cap on the crowdsale. 50 million? Yes, they have actually put a cap at 50 million on this thing. I don't know Roman Mandeleil and have never used any of the products ether.camp have developed, so I'm looking at this crowdsale purely based on the information given on the website, the white paper, the ether.camp blog and recent ether.camp Reddit discussions. I'm very subjectively scoring each section on a scale of 1 to 5, where 3 should be neutral in the eyes of a potential investor.
Project: ether.camp crowdfund
As described in the white paper:
ether.camp is a project aimed to create the ideal innovation environment for startups by utilising blockchain technology for the release of the Virtual Accelerator.
ether.camp is a recurring hackathon event, with the second hackathon coming up shortly. According to a blog post they have 1700 hackers and fans (what does that mean?) signed up for the event. Before the event developers have been able to pitch ideas and form teams, and the goal during the five week event is to create products out of these ideas.
Do these guys have what it takes to succeed as entrepreneurs? Track record and previous projects? Experience and formal education? 1/5 This is tricky - because the only publicly known member of ether.camp is Roman Mandeleil. After a software dev career he join the Ethereum project and was the EthereumJ (Java client) lead developer in 2014, after which he left to start ether.camp. At ether.camp he has led several Ethereum based projects, such as Ethereum Studio, Ethereum Harmony, Ethereum Java Peer and live.ether.camp. To my knowledge none of these are commercial projects, so we have no real information about the teams ability to run a commercial platform. Roman has delivered on several projects and seems very well respected in the community (as seen by the judges they have attracted to the ether.camp hackathon). But, there is no mention and no information about the team in the white paper which is a huge miss. As I've said before - the team and their ability to execute on product, business and company formation is the absolutely most important part of any project. During the recent Reddit AMA several red flags was raised from my perspective: * Roman said there is a dedicated team solely working on hack.ether.camp - but on the hack.ether.camp web site only two people are listed to work on hack.ether.camp (Mikhail Kalinin and Anton Maximov) * ether.camp governance, or lack thereof as stated by Roman in the AMA:
is private company so we keep the inernal strucure private for now. I can be seen as a responsible for any project we do. Since the team is the most important success factor this lack of transparency is a huge issue for me.
I'm sure Roman is a very competent person, but the answers given does not provide any assurance. This part of their proposal is downright bad.
Market Potential 1/5
In the AMA the answer to monetization of the platform is very vague:
(Q) Thanks for your answers. As a follow up: Do you automatically expect the great user experience and startup ideas to turn into revenue and salaries for your team to go forward? Revenue is crucial for the sustainability of any business in the world - be it blockchain or normal. (A) I do agree that revenue is crucial for any buisness, but a startup can focus on the platform for some time and leave the monetization part for later. Google and Facebook are just 2 examples of such a story.
So no market vision in sight, which is another problem even if there surely are ways to monetise a successful platform. But, since this is not on the map currently we can at least be sure this is some (a long) time into the future.
Product/Business/Operating Plan 2/5
Proof of concept available? How many iterations are done? MVP available? Is the product validated by outside users? 2/5 The first hackathon is already done, but I cannot find any information on the website that describes the outcome of this event. Did any of the projects or teams live on after the event? For the Virtual Accelerator platform itself it seems like some code is available github. But, the web site and white paper are still (2 days before the sale goes live) not complete and has only empty space where they are supposed to put code examples. But, since 50 % of all funds raised will go to platform development (from 0.5 to 25 million USD) this platform clearly has a lot of work left to do. What is the current operating plan and why do they need funding now? 1/5 They need funding in order to continue run the ether.camp hackathons, continue to expand their scope and finish development of the platform. But, very weak arguments are given for why they need money now and how much they really need. In the minimum funding scenario (still a wide span of 1-5 million USD) they say they will focus on platform development and move quickly to platform monetisation, which in my opinion sounds like a sound idea as it will show the viability of the platform as a commercial project sooner rather than later. Further, I have serious doubts about the ability the use funds efficiently given the very wide span they go for. Let's say they reach the max of 50 million USD, in this case 25 million USD goes to platform development. The website says they will spend this over three years before financing the platform with monetisation. 25 million USD equals a staff over 104 people (given a cost of $80 000 per employee per year) over the full three years on platform development alone - and this is for a platform without any public road map, vision or goals. Another lacking point is that they have no plan or description of the team they are aiming to build. How many people are they going to recruit? In which positions? Who will the people leading this venture be? What is the go-to market strategy? 0/5 None in the white paper, which needs addressing. Roadmap 2/5 A roadmap for the 2nd hackathon is given, but none for the platform development or other activities for which they raise money.
Do they have a clear view of the competition? How do they plan to beat them? 3/5 They don't address the competition directly, but given the level of interest in the hack.ether.camp I would say this is the most well known hackathon in the Ethereum space. However, the ambition is clearly to reach outside of the Ethereum space and no clear strategy or who will be responsible for this is given.
Is valuation sane? 1/5 For some reason I cannot understand they have chosen to set a maximum cap in the fundraise of 50 million USD. Five Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero dollars. They describe their project as doable with as little as 1 million USD, but have set the mega cap in order to avoid a crowdsale that ends in minutes, hours or days. Also, it's very important to note that the HKG token does not entitle to anything on the ether.camp platform ether.camp blog:
As it’s important for us to comply with US security regulations backers don’t have rights on any other part of the project - no IP, no revenue stream and no shared ownership.
The only right given to holders of the HKG token is the possibility to participate in the first phase of crowdfunding for projects in ether.camp hackathons and vote on the use of funds in these projects. As a token holder you can be an early adopter in hackathon projects, by exchanging HKG tokens for specific tokens released by the project (if I understand it correctly). This way the project gets HKG tokens that can be sold (for seed funding) and the token holder is now a first round investor in the project. This process is a 1:1 exchange between HKG tokens and project tokens. After the hackathon event the project can release 5 times as many tokens as released in the first round and these tokens will be available to the public for ether. Nothing is said about the pricing mechanism for this, or how the project will be able to mint and sell additional tokens at a later stage for further funding. Or does it stop there? This whole process seems a bit unpolished and not complete. Also, nothing says the project tokens will have any value at all. This means that the value of HKG tokens will come solely from what people are willing to pay for them in exchanges for the ability to participate as early adopters/backers in future hackathon events. This value will be balanced by the selling pressure from all hackathon projects selling HKG tokens in exchange for ethebitcoin in order to fund their projects. Crowdsale and token structure 1/5 The crowdsale mechanism itself also have several of the usual issues we have seen in the space: * All money is available upfront * No way of raising more funds through the HKG token, either if the project have difficulties or if it becomes a huge success * Investor vesting is not even considered since there is no issuance of tokens to the ether.camp team - meaning there is a very low level of alignment of interest with the crowdsale backers. If the max cap is only set because they want to give anyone interested the possibility to join, this could have been solved in so many other ways (e.g. pro-rata issuance, Dutch auction or something else) and instead they could have put a sane cap of 2-3 million USD which would still be a lot of money for a project like this.
As an investor? 4/5 As noted above they have taken care to avoid being considered an SEC security. However, this is not mentioned in the white paper or on the sale website, only in a blog post. Legality of the business 5/5 Nothing strange here
Proof of external security evaluation? 2/5 To my knowledge one external security audit has been made, which was made public today (2 days before the sale starts) by Manuel Araoz Zeppelin Medium. To me it looks a bit like the security audit published by Slockit on theDAO. They go through one of the contracts and give some general and some specific comments on the code. So far so good. What I don't like is that they start the audit by saying:
We’ve been asked by our friends at ether.camp to review the code for their soon-to-launch Hacker Gold (HKG) token, and to publish the results of our work.
I would like security audits to be performed by hired, professional unrelated external auditors, not friends of the team. Further than that, what is interesting is not to only audit one specific contract, but how all contracts interrelate should also be audited. EDIT: The Zeppelin team contacted me and explained they were in fact hired to do the audit, it was just the blog post that had an misleading introduction. Special security needs for this project? 3/5 In general I would say no. But, given the extreme max cap on this projects it makes it another to big to fail project (if they raise the full amount). Can the community afford another security breakdown of this size?
With the information available in these sources I have a very hard time understanding this project. They have a nice website and clearly ambitious plans, but they do not seem connected to reality. The tone I see in Romans AMA answers remind me of the tone Stephan Tual held before TheDAO debacle. I think a lot more openness, transparency and community engagement is needed. Roman also seem to be respected in the community, but this is not translated into any of the background info of the crowdsale. I have several direct issues with the project: * They don't give backgrounds of the team and only two people seems to be working on the project * They don't give any information about the governance of the company that will be in control of all funds * Very vague rationale for how investors will get an ROI on their investment * They have no strategy for how funds will be efficiently used in the wide range they are asking for * No company formation strategy, no market strategy described and no plan for an efficient team setup * The only security audit so far is done by a friend of the project/team * The token issuance model could have been made much better in order to allocate funds to everyone interested * The white paper and the website are still unfinished and are missing content On the other hand, a successful ether.camp could mean a lot to the Ethereum ecosystem. I just wish they could follow some of the best practices developed in the real world. Raise some seed money, build a first version, prove that the team can execute and then go from there. Another important note, it seems like the HKG tokens and the project tokens they potentially can be exchanged into are never intended to carry any value - meaning that investing in ether.camp is not to be done if an ROI is expected on the investment. Read on Medium for better typography Edit: Security section, I was contacted by the Zeppelin team with some additional info (they were hired to do the audit) tips: 0x45eDe61e0EAF2Db9480A2000Efef67B0F4f3A8b0
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2016-03-24 Ethereum Seattle meet-up with Slockit CEO Christoph Jentzsch (Part 1)
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