May 052021
How to buy ICP token from Dfinity

This is a guide on how to buy ICP Token from Dfinity, dubbed the Internet Computer. After a wait of half a decade, Dfinity is releasing a public launch of its network and also its ICP token which powers the internet computer. The genesis launch took place on May 7th 2021. ICP is expected to start trading on May 10th 20211 at 10am PT. Therefore, you should be able to buy ICP tokens starting this date. ICP stands for Internet Computer Protocol.

Since I am getting a lot of questions on this, the only legitimate place to buy ICP right now (pre-launch) is FTX which supports ICP perpetual futures contract. This is the most liquid with best price discovery by far (not the IOU from MXC). Sign up and trade on FTX if you want exposure to ICP pre-launch. No KYC for up to 2000 USD withdraw per day. VPN friendly. Don’t buy MXC stuff. Otherwise, just wait for regular exchanges (see below)

But first, let’s dive deeper into Dfinity, its vision, and how to relates to the broader blockchain and crypto ecosystem.

What is Dfinity?

Dfinity has been building an “Internet Computer” since 2016-2017 and has raised several billion dollars from VCs like A16Z in the process. It has several unique features such as how nodes come to a consensus and how data is treated inside the network. We suggest doing some reading on their blog as the details are hard to summarize. If Dfinity can do 10% of all it promises, it could be a game-changer.

Dfinity hopes that popular apps like Facebook and TikTok will be recreated on a decentralized network and the Internet Computer is ready to handle any load. It is far easier for developers to manage since compute and storage are managed in a single place and scaled by the Internet Computer, which means the developers don’t need to manage things like databases, firewalls, load balancers, etc.

What is ICP Token?

The ICP token is the native token of Dfinity. You can stake the ICP token for governance and collect fees. This isn’t a gimmick like several other governance tokens. Besides, you’ll be rewarded the more the network is successful, which aligns the interests of token holders and network users and builders well.

Dfinity did an ICO or crowdsale in early 2017 where it raised around $4 million in crypto. According to an older blog post from Dominic Williams the founder and chief scientist at Dfinity, the crowdsale participants will collectively own 24.72% of the network at launch.

In addition, Dfinity did a broad community “airdrop” via CoinList in 2018. Those users get 1.25% of the entire network. Every participant here would have 119 ICP in their CoinList account. CoinList is well known to mess up big launches and we don’t expect the ICP launch to be any different. Therefore, expect some early troubles.

In addition to the crowdsale, Dfinity has raised several billion dollars from some of the most prominent venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, most notably A16Z. A16Z has led multiple successive rounds for Dfinity over the years, which proves their deep conviction in the project (in addition to providing a way to deploy their hundreds of millions of dollars in a single shot).

That in a nutshell is how ICP will be distributed prior to the launch.

What are ICP’s Tokenomics

ICP (previously DFN at crowdsale) is both a governance and utility token inside the Internet Computer ecosystem. Therefore, if you are a developer who wants to build on Dfinity’s Internet Computer, then you will buy some ICP and convert them into cycles. This is somewhat analogous to how gas works in Ethereum i.e. you need to pay for compute using the native token.

However, if you want an upside in network ownership instead, you will lock up your ICP into what is called “Network Nervous System” (previously blockchain nervous system) or NNP. This creates “neurons” that can then be used for network governance. Governance actions will earn voting rewards inside the network.

Therefore, there are two inflation sources:

  • Paying nodes for compute (data centers for example)
  • Paying governance participants

and there is one deflation sink:

  • Burning ICP when it is converted into cycles by app developers

Voting rewards are higher for higher lockups. There is a complicated governance system via NNS which we’ll cover in more detail in a later post. App developers will need to know how to buy ICP tokens to make sure their apps are functioning right. This creates a continuous demand for ICP token. Depending on the usage, ICP could end up deflationary which would be a first in the space (other than possibly Ethereum’s EIP 1559 being adopted and gas remaining high).

Node operators get ICP payments but denominated in “cash equivalent” units. This is understandable because node operators have fixed hardware costs determined in USD or local fiat equivalent, not in ICP. Voting rewards are denominated in ICP though since these are longer term stakeholders of the project.

ICP tokenomics

ICP inflation for governance starts at 10% of total supply and drops to 5% of total supply by Year-8. There is no information on inflation numbers for data center rewards yet.

How to Buy ICP Token from Dfinity

ICP has been released. The previous holders of DFN tokens via the seed round can access their ICP by following the instructions in this post. Airdrop recipients via CoinList will receive their ICP drop vested equally over 12 months.

Coinbase is listing ICP token at launch. This is probably the simplest way to buy ICP at launch. This of course was not the least bit surprising since A16Z is one of the largest investors in both Coinbase ($COIN) and Dfinity ($ICP). Note that after you sign up for Coinbase, you’ll need to log into Coinbase Pro in order to start trading ICP. It is expected that regular Coinbase users can buy ICP in the future, but the launch is on Coinbase Pro.

You can buy ICP futures on FTX which is the easiest and most liquid way to get leveraged exposure to ICP at launch. FTX’s perpetual futures are the simplest way to leverage up your ICP exposure. They are far more reliable for futures trading than Binance. You can leverage up to 100x, but please don’t do that unless you really know what you are doing. Keep it at a more modest 2-10x.

OKEx has announced it will list ICP token at launch (and also a $10MM fund to support the ICP ecosystem)

Kucoin will also be trading ICP at launch, with ICP/BTC and ICP/USDT pairs.

Binance is expected to list ICP soon after launch.

CoinList, which hosted the 1.25% community airdrop in 2018, is also expected to launch ICP trading. However, due to their poor ability to handle loads combined with poor liquidity and poor user experience and hard to complete KYC requirements, we suggest using other exchanges to trade ICP. If you are an airdrop participant though, you will need to go through CoinList to get your ICP. If you want to sell your ICP, it may be better to transfer it out to another exchange and then sell for BTC or USDT/USDC or another supported pair.

A bunch of smaller exchanges might list ICP after launch too. We’ll update the post over time to include them.

Warning: Be aware that ICP is not an ERC20 token and therefore does not exist on Ethereum. It is the native currency of the Internet Computer by Dfinity. Expect a bunch of scam ERC20s to launch on Uniswap. Don’t fall for them and stay safe out there.

Dfinity ICP Circulating Supply

The ICP circulating supply is a bit of a complex topic. This is because not all ICP is tradable in the markets. There is a lockup of ICPs in the form of neurons, and there is a “dissolve delay” before which ICP from these neurons can be obtained by a user in their wallet to sell on the markets. This mechanism is a bit different from other lock/stake protocols.

At genesis, the ICP token supply is expected to be 469,213,710 ICP i.e. about 469 million ICP. Circulating supply will depend on network conditions and economics, but is around 26% i.e. around 122 million ICP.

Not all of this is going to be liquid, however. The team has not been upfront about how many will be locked up in neurons and what the dissolve delay will be set at and whether the seed and institutional investors will get one neuron per entity or multiple. Therefore, there are a lot of questions about liquid and circulating ICP supply at launch that the team has failed to answer adequately. We’ll update this post when we get more details from the team about initial circulating supply numbers.

How to Earn ICP

The easiest way for everyday users to earn ICP is via voting rewards. If you run specialized data centers and willing to invest in dedicated hardware, that may be the better route to go. However, unlike other protocols like Filecoin, you cannot just contribute compute to Dfinity’s internet computer. Governance will need to approve every data center added to the network.

Therefore, for most users, voting (governance) is the way to earn ICP. Make sure to set the rules to delegate your votes so you don’t miss out on any rewards.

You can earn ICP by locking up your existing ICP into “neurons”. This is part of the “network nervous system” or NNS that forms the backbone of Dfinity’s internet computer.

In order to maximize your ICP returns, you should

  • Ensure that you are voting directly or in a delegated manner for every single vote.
  • Neurons lock up ICP. The more ICP you have locked up into your neuron, the more ICP your neuron will earn.
  • Dissolve Delay is like lockup. This can be set from 6 months to 8 years to earn governance rewards. If you set this to a maximum of 8 years, you get 2x the rewards compared to 6 months.
  • Age of neurons matter. Older neurons earn more ICP with a maximum of 25% bonus capped after 4 years.

Therefore, if you have a 4 year old neuron with 8 years dissolve delay, you will earn 2.5x more ICP than a neuron that was just created with a 6 month dissolve delay.

Dfinity makes it easier to compound. The network sends rewards to users in the form of new neurons. These neurons start with a dissolve delay of 1 day. You can therefore dissolve them immediately or simply increase the dissolve delay for your ‘child’ neurons. This is an easy way to compound your ICP to earn even more ICP but of course at the cost of reduced liquidity. Also note that neurons will not be tradable as trading them has security implications for the network.

Note: If you trigger to dissolve a neuron, when the delay is below 6 months, you will stop earning ICP tokens.

ICP Updates

If you want to watch the event live, register for the Dfinity mercury genesis launch event, including details on ICP token and when it unlocks. Event takes place 7pm CET / 10am PT on Friday, 7th of May 2021. ICP token will be released at 9am PT on Monday, 10th May 2021.

If you were a seed investor in Dfinity, here is a guide on how to access your ICP (warning: technically challenging. The team made it very hard for seed investors to access their neurons and ICP by not integrating with the app and instead using command line tools).

ICP and Dfinity Resources

The Dfinity blog is fairly comprehensive – we suggest giving it a read.

Some core posts are: details about ICP and its tokenomics and use for governance, technical overview of the internet computer, 20 year roadmap.

Dec 082017

How to Buy NEM
This is a guide on how to buy NEM, one of the oldest cryptoassets in existence today. Before we delve into the buying methods, let’s first look at a brief history of NEM and how it distinguishes itself from competitors. Also note that the project is called NEM for New Economy Movement, and the ticker symbol to trade NEM is XEM.

Brief History of NEM

NEM is one of the oldest cryptoassets in the market today. The project was first announced on Bitcointalk forums on June 16 2014. Now, there were several cryptocurrencies and cryptoassets before NEM. Some well known examples are Litecoin and NXT, being created as a cryptocurrency and cryptoasset/protocol before NEM. However, compared to many other projects in the market today, NEM is one of the older projects.

NEM’s distribution is what made it unique back in the day. Instead of doing an ‘ICO’, the project decided that making it as widely distributed as possible was the goal. To that end, NEM provided what were called as ‘NEM Stakes’ to early project participants. They did this all in the open on Bitcointalk forums, which were very popular back in the day for the community. Many got their stakes for free, while others got it for a very small amount. This encouraged a wide participation.

NEM was originally inspired from NXT and its design. However, instead of using a simple Proof of Stake like NXT, NEM decided to go for a ‘Proof of Importance’ or PoI style consensus method for its blockchain. You can read more about it here (pdf), but what PoI does is reward network participation, not just hoarding.

NEM is popular today as being a blockchain that allows a high throughput, i.e. number of transactions per second. It also shares development resources with a sister private blockchain, Minjin. NEM is popular in Japan and Asia.

How NEM is Unique

NEM is an old cryptoasset. Here are some things that are special about NEM –

  • One of the oldest cryptoassets in the market today.
  • Uses a Proof of Importance protocol instead of pure Proof of Stake. More energy efficient than Proof of Work.
  • NEM has a high throughput compared to many other blockchains.
  • NEM supply is fixed. No new NEM will ever be created anymore.
  • NEM validators get transaction fees from the blocks. This is sufficient to incentivize them, since the validation process isn’t expensive, like Proof of Work.
  • NEM can be staked via remote nodes without giving them your private keys. This reduces security concerns, since you don’t need to leave your wallet software on your computer unlocked.
  • NEM shares development resources with Mijin, which helps both projects grow without competing with each other, since the latter is a private blockchain implementation of NEM.

How to Buy NEM

There are many ways how you can buy NEM, with or without buying on NEM exchanges. We provide some of the best ways below.

Note first that it is simplest to buy NEM via Bitcoin instead of local currencies if you have some BTC. If not, it is perhaps simplest to buy Bitcoin first, and then buy XEM with that Bitcoin. Remember you can buy fractions of Bitcoin. The easiest way to buy Bitcoin is through Coinbase.


Shapeshift is perhaps the easiest way to buy NEM without creating any account. What’s better is you can buy NEM via many different cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets, not just Bitcoin. For example, if you have ETH and want to convert it to NEM, Shapeshift lets you do that easily. You just go to the site, select which crypto you have and convert it to NEM. No need of any account creation.


Changelly is similar to Shapeshift in that it allows you to ‘change’ one crypto to another. You can select which crypto you have, and convert it into NEM. Changelly sometimes gives better pricing than Shapeshift, so I would advise you to check both of them before deciding on which one to use. Changelly requires an account creation though, but it is pretty straightforward.


As of this writing, Bittrex has the highest trading volume for XEM. Bittrex is one of the largest crypto exchanges by volume, and also have the NEM market. You will find the pair XEM/BTC listed on the exchange. This means you can buy NEM with BTC on Bittrex. If you want to buy a good amount of NEM, Bittrex should be your first choice.


Poloniex used to be the largest crypto exchange but has been beaten by Bittrex over the last several months. Still, it is a good alternative, and you can trade NEM on an exchange. Simply follow the market, and enter your order to buy NEM.

There are other exchanges like Zaif and HitBTC that also trade NEM. Zaif allows you to buy NEM with JPY (Japanese Yen), so if you’re from Japan, worth checking it out.

NXT is a cryptoasset that is similar to NEM. You can learn about how to buy NXT here.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Sep 272017

Promote Your ICO
This is a guide on how to promote your ICO for startups and individuals looking to do an ICO. ICOs, or Initial Coin Offerings, are all the rage at the moment, and there are many promising projects out there. However, good ICO projects tend to get drowned out in a lot of noise, which makes it hard for the crypto investors to take a serious look at your project.

Therefore, to stand out from the crowd and attract the crypto investor community, you need to know how to promote your ICO the right way. This guide will help you to learn how to do that and run a successful ICO campaign. The information comes from observing several scores of ICOs go through the process. We then distilled down the components of a successful raise versus an unsuccessful one, and figured out the key components of what makes an ICO successful. Here are the tips to help market your ICO to crypto investors.

Tip-1: Have a genuinely good value proposition for investors

This seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised by how many ICO teams don’t think about what’s in it for the investors. Remember, like any investing, the people are putting money into your idea and they may lose it all. The crypto investors know this all too well. However, as the creator of the ICO, it is your duty and responsibility to minimize the chances of failure, and provide investors a way to increase their chances of success. In case the product is successful, then the investors who put money into the ICO should be rewarded.

Don’t create unnecessarily large incentives for the team and advisers. You should aim to give away more than 50% and usually up to 80% of your tokens to the ICO investors because they are taking a huge risk. If you have inflation, make sure it makes sense and is used sensibly to improve chances of a successful product.

Make sure that if the protocol is successful, then the value flows to the ICO investors, i.e. they share in the project success.

Tip-2: Fill in the essentials: Whitepaper, Roadmap, and Team

Don’t skimp on this aspect. Think of what a venture capitalist would look at – team, vision, future of the industry and market dynamics, team dynamics, etc. These are all the elements that crypto investors look for as well. Therefore before you promote your ICO, you should get the basics right. Make sure your whitepaper is thorough. Whitepapers are not marketing documents. You need to provide all the technical details of the project in this document.

There needs to be a clear roadmap on where you see the product and protocol and how it evolves over time. This needs to be commensurate with your ask from investors, i.e. how much you’re looking to raise in the ICO. Make sure these are congruent and not ridiculous money grabs.

Finally, make sure the team is solid and that you have at least one serious blockchain developer. You also need members of your team to be proficient in your market/industry with experience. Highlight these experiences. Have a bio for each member of the team and what they bring to the table.

Tip-3: Use Bounties to Reach the Community to Help Promote Your ICO

Now let’s get into the strategic aspects of how to promote ICOs. You will need to reach the community, and one proven way is via bounties. This almost always happens on Bitcointalk forum’s bounty section. It is usually better to hire a bounty manager and pay him a decent amount to manage and run the bounty on your behalf.

Also, you need to structure the bounty correctly. You should allocate a minimum of 1%-2% for all the bounties. The most returns are obtained for Bitcointalk signature campaigns and articles/blog campaigns. After that come the social media campaigns like Twitter and Facebook. Pay more attention to Twitter than Facebook because that’s where the community really engages. Finally, have decent bounties for translations and community engagement in those threads.

If you’re new to the crypto world, bounty management can be very difficult to get right. This is because the crypto community is perhaps nothing like you’ve ever seen. If you think you run a successful startup and can just do a successful token, you’re going to be mistaken. If you’re an investment banker who has done a dozen road shows and think you can nail ICOs, you’re going to be sorely mistaken.

If you’re new to crypto, then go with someone more experienced. There are new consultancy companies that operate community/bounties for your ICO. We recommend checking out Amazix, an ICO agency that handles marketing, community management, paid advertising, bounty campaigns, influencer marketing, social media management, and project assessments. They are picky about working with only the best ICOs in the space, and have built a reputation around it, so if you have them listed for community management, it helps increase your ICO profile as well.

You can also use the Viral Exchange for running some social media part of ICO bounties.

Tip-4: Advertise on Authoritative Sources

Advertising is another way to reach the community. BitMedia is the most popular Pay Per Click (PPC) ad provider to the crypto community. They have a reach into many of the popular crypto news and information sources, and can deliver good amount of relevant traffic.

There are other PPC ad networks you can check out as well, such as  CoinURL and CoinTraffic.

If you are interested in PPM, i.e. paying per impression, then anonymous ads is by far the best option for you. It is one of the oldest advertising networks for the crypto investors and has been going strong for over half a decade. They are placed on the most prominent crypto sites, and can really help promote your ICO to the relevant communities.

You can check out more resources on how to advertise your ICO.

Tip-5: Engage with the Community

There’s no substitute for engaging with the community. Your best bet to promote your ICO to the crypto community is via Slack, Reddit, and Twitter. Focus on these three and other platforms like Facebook can take a back seat. You should reply to community questions and concerns promptly. Hire a crypto social media manager if you need to. If you do this, make sure the person is well versed in the crypto space. This is essential, as regular social media folks don’t tend to understand just how unique crypto communities are.

Photo Credit: mkfeeney

Apr 192017

TaaS Crypto Research

TaaS (Token-as-a-Service)is a new crypto-asset (crypto-token on Ethereum), which is a closed-end fund for the cryptocurrency industry broadly. This means there is a fund management team that invests in promising new crypto-assets, crypto-tokens, meta-tokens, app-coins, or protocol tokens (whatever you want to call them), and shares the profits with its token-holders. TaaS will invest in existing crypto-assets and also in new ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). In fact, TaaS itself is currently undergoing its ICO to fund the initial capital.

TaaS of course is not the first project looking to invest into the emerging market of ICOs and crypto-assets. Many different projects are trying to do the same, from ICONOMI (which was an ICO like TaaS and raised over $10 million) to Blockchain Capital.

However, they all differ in their approach – either the fund structure, or the types of investments. For instance, ICONOMI does a buy-back to return money to shareholders and there is no fee structure disclosed, which means investors don’t know how much they’ll lose out on operating expenses of the fund. Blockchain Capital is a tradeable and investable token, but its investments are more venture capital based rather than crypto-asset based.

With these in mind, let’s look at where TaaS fits into the picture.

Existing Financial Industry Structure

If you look at the largest investment banks in the world today, like say Goldman Sachs, you’ll see they have a very active research division. If you look at the largest hedge-funds today, they have their internal research division that forms buy-side research at these firms. These sell-side and buy-side research is an integral and important part of the financial industry.

The ICO and crypto-asset industry is very nascent indeed. Bitcoin, the grandfather of all cryptos, isn’t even a decade old. However, the market is adding billions of dollars worth of capitalization in months. Today, the market stands at around $25 billion, with the dominance of Bitcoin on the wane (relative to the total market size). Research in this area is just getting started.

The problem with many of the funds in the industry is that they are flying blind. They do not have a solid analytical and data foundation on which to build the investment thesis. Without this foundation, unfortunately, investments look like speculation. Instead of targeted investing, funds are involved in spray-and-pray strategies that doesn’t help the ecosystem grow.

The Investment Decision Making Process

It goes without saying that crypto is a fairly recent and unique asset class, which means the strategies that work for equity investors will not work carbon-copy with crypto-assets. However, we can take lessons from the existing financial industry.

The minimum level of due-diligence that any fund manager in the crypto space needs to take is to read the whitepaper, understand the product, understand the team behind the project, and look at the token structure, i.e. what is the use of this token. This first step itself is a big deal of research for most investors.

However, one cannot stop there. There are many other research questions to answer. What’s the potential market size? What are the valuation assumptions? What are some past deals with similar ideas? What kinds of ratios are existing tokens in this industry selling for? What’s the crypto-market capitalization for this and related ideas? What are the risks being faced by the industry?

To answer the above questions, one needs data and human judgement. However, getting the data is the first step. Today, there are very few avenues for investors to get this data about the market they are investing in.

How TaaS is Different

Enter TaaS. Instead of being just another fund management platform, TaaS is building the ecosystem from ground up. Instead of first doing the picking of ICOs/crypto-assets, TaaS is asking the meta question – what kinds of questions do I need to answer to make a good investment decision? To this end, TaaS is building a crypto data and research platform, aka the Bloomberg of crypto, in the form of Kepler. I predict this will usher in an era of new products in the crypto-research space, which is at a cross-roads now and very much needs these products.

Kepler can be subscribed to by outside fund managers as well. In the absence of such a product in the marketplace, the TaaS team is building one for the industry – an ambitious step but a step in the right direction nonetheless. After all, investments and research should always go hand in hand.

The TaaS ICO is ongoing now. Check out the site and other details at

Bitcointalk forum profile.

Photo Credit: Leo Hidalgo

Apr 012017

Lunyr Decentralized Knowledgebase

Lunyr is a new crypto-economic asset built on Ethereum, aimed to get the economic incentives right for distributed online knowledge sharing. Lunyr has built a clever set of incentive schemes that could potentially help it provide much higher quality information than other similar sites, including the likes of Wikipedia.

Today, Wikipedia represents one of the best known successes of large-scale knowledge sharing collaborative networks. In fact, it has been such a massive success that it killed the 244 year old Britannica Encyclopedia because the traditional model just couldn’t keep up with the frequency of updates and the addition of new information by Wikipedia. Run in a completely voluntary fashion, Wikipedia highlights that it is possible to create collaborative knowledge networks in today’s interconnected worlds.

Scratch a bit deeper though, and you’ll see a host of problems with the Wikipedia model, from errors to outright hoaxes. A large part of the reason for this is that neither the contributors nor the editors who later check the articles have any financial incentive. Economics, after all, trumps many other human systems of collaboration. As Adam Smith said,

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. ~ Adam Smith

Lunyr aims to create a better knowledgebase using people’s regard to their own interest.

Beyond Wikipedia

Lunyr aims to create a new kind of collaborative knowledge system, but this time around, they want to do it based on providing economic incentives that may remove the issues plaguing the Wikipedia model. Another benefit of the Lunyr system is that it is not limited to just the creation of written content.

The vision is to be able to expand the system to much beyond that. With the advent of technologies from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Virtual Reality (VR), Lunyr aims to create powerful APIs that plug into all these systems that require information and knowledge.

This is a powerful feature, since it is likely that in the future, machines (machine learning/artificial intelligence) will be the primary customers of information and knowledge, rather than humans. Data, after all, is overtaking the written word already. It is only a matter of time before machine intelligence consumes more content than us sapiens. How then will they consume this information? They will also need to ensure the information is accurate, and that not anyone can change the ‘facts’ via which the algorithms operate. Lunyr provides a possible solution to that problem because there is economic incentive system built into the system to prevent such abuses.

Lunyr works by creating a completely decentralized knowledge sharing database. Contributors can create new articles, and get paid for their efforts. Editors can edit, make changes, and accept/reject articles and get paid for their efforts. There is also a dispute-resolution system, which is needed in decentralized networks because not everyone may agree with a certain point. The monetary value of the network is through advertising. There are less chances of corruption in a decentralized decision-making process like Lunyr than with a centralized model like Wikipedia through advertising.

The below is the timeline for the launch of Lunyr. Note that the Lunyr ICO is currently ongoing, and you can get 44 LUN per ETH right now. The project has already raised over $300,000 in the ICO. Note that since there is no bonus for early participation, it is expected that the Lunyr ICO will continue to see traction until its end, and likely attract a large portion of the funds towards the end of the ICO rather than the beginning.

Lunyr Timeline

Check out the project here.

ETH Address: 0xC059456BB0E2e9A2ACD5a4c8384b29a89E1a3642

Mar 112017

TaaS Fund Management
TaaS (Token As A Service) is a new crypto project that is filling the increasing demand for crypto fund management. There is a lot of investor appetite for easy access to crypto as an asset class. We are seeing this niche get crowded of late – ICONOMI, Melonport, etc. are all involved, in some way, to help investors gain exposure to the new crypto asset class, and satisfy their demand. TaaS is a promising new project that is aimed to allow investors to reap the gains from good cryptocurrency investments. TaaS is separating itself from the rest of the crowd in many different ways that we’ll discuss below. Also, the TaaS ICO will start soon, so keep an eye out.

TaaS ICO and Structure

TaaS will sell a maximum of 101 million TaaS tokens in its ICO (Initial Coin Offering) that will go on for a month. No additional TaaS tokens will ever be created in the future. Also, the token sale structure is set up in a way that the tokens have a fixed price (of $1) and any tokens not sold in the ICO will be burned. The ICO will start on March 27th 2017.

Interestingly, the team has refused to hold on to any TaaS tokens in the future, i.e. all the TaaS tokens that will ever be created will be sold to the general public. This is different from many other projects that usually hold on to a certain percentage of tokens sold in the ICO, so they can ride the price up if it pops after the ICO.

There are bonuses for the ICO, but the bonuses are not based on duration as many other ICOs do. Instead, the bonuses are based on how much has been raised already till that point. The following is the bonus structure.

TaaS ICO Bonus

How Does TaaS Work?

The details of how TaaS works is outlined in its official whitepaper. TaaS is an Ethereum-based token which is structured as a closed-end fund. A closed-end fund pools investments from investors, invests the funds in the market, and distributes the returns back to the original investors. In the case of TaaS, 50% of all the returns earned on the invested money is sent back to the original investors. 25% is invested back into the fund, thus raising its AUM (assets under management) and thus the NAV (net asset value) of the closed-end fund. The remaining 25% is distributed between operational expenses (15%) and a reserve fund (10%). The reserve fund is used to handle investor fund outflows during the life-cycle of the fund (remember it’s a closed-end fund).

Therefore investors in TaaS have two distinct sources of return –

  • Earnings distributed via earnings, to the tune of 50%.
  • Increase in NAV of the fund, which means each TaaS token represents a higher amount of money in the ‘pot’.

Of course, there are the usual elements of earnings growth and speculation that will also drive the market price of the TaaS token.

Fund Transparency

TaaS is handling the problem of transparency in two distinct ways –

  • For the payouts themselves, the team is building a smart-contract platform that will ensure fair payments to all investors, with a minimum of 50% of profits sent to the investors.
  • For the transparency of the fund and its holdings, the team is building a Cryptographic Audit (CA) technology. This technology will allow the investors in the fund to monitor and track the history of the closed-end fund and what types of cryptocurrencies (blockchain assets) the fund bought and sold over a period of time.

The transparency at the fund level is unprecedented in the world of closed-end funds, whether they invest in regular markets or blockchain assets/cryptocurrencies. The team wants to make this one of the distinguishing features from some of the other projects involved in crypto fund management.

How TaaS is Different

In addition to building a closed-end fund, the TaaS team is building a complete portfolio management tool that also combines an analytics platform. This is called Kepler. This is already in private beta and the current timeline for Kepler’s launch is end of 2017.

TaaS has some similarities to the ICONOMI.PERFORMANCE fund, in that it is run at management’s discretion (the management team makes the decision on what crypto-assets and ICOs to invest in). However, in the ICONOMI.PERFORMANCE fund, different investors buy ICP tokens (i.e. investors that want hedge-fund like exposure to crypto) and different investors get the fees from that fund, i.e. ICN investors. However, in the case of TaaS, the fund is owned by the token holders, and 50% of the total profits are sent to these token holders. Management uses a part of the funds to manage operating expenses. The structure of a closed-end fund is therefore simpler. This is more appealing to ICO investors. Finally, ICONOMI doesn’t have any tools for transparency. The team announces new investments on a blog post. However, neither the ICN investors nor the ICP investors know the timing of trades, or can audit the trades. This is in contrast to TaaS which wants to make transparency a cornerstone of its fund offering.

Melonport is also in the same asset-management niche, which aims to build a fully decentralized fund management platform with the help of Polkadot. However, the focus of Melonport is more towards providing the tools of fund management to any crypto hedge fund manager. Melonport doesn’t itself do any crypto investing on behalf of investors. On the other hand, TaaS has an actual management team in place that will do the research and analysis necessary to make intelligent investments.

The ICO starts soon. Check out the site and other details at

Bitcointalk forum profile.

Photo Credit: TaxCredits

Feb 272017

Edgeless Casino Ethereum
Edgeless is a blockchain-based casino built on Ethereum. It pitches itself to be a casino with 0% house edge, when games of skill are played with 100% accuracy. It makes money when players make mistakes, for instance, not everyone will play blackjack accurately all the time. Edgeless plans to launch with games of both skill (like blackjack) and luck (like roulette). It is using a scheme that uses 2 random numbers, with one of them being generated by the user himself, only after a number has been generated and committed by the house. This way, there is no way for the house to cheat. The smart contracts that power Edgeless are also open for everyone to evaluate.

Blockchain based gambling is of course nothing new. There were several early successes like Satoshi Dice for BTC and today there are several BTC gambling sites which accept Bitcoin. However, with Ethereum-based gambling, there is additional logic that can be embedded at the smart contract layer to further reduce trust.

Edgeless ICO

Edgeless is having its ICO, starting on 28th February 2017 at 3pm GMT. The ICO is structured with weekly bonuses, with an additional power hour bonus. Crypto-enthusiasts can participate in the ICO by sending their Ethereum from a wallet whose private keys they control (like MyEtherWallet). If you only have Bitcoin, you can buy Ethereum on exchanges like Coinbase or Binance.

The regular price at the ICO is 1 ETH = 1000 EDG (Edgeless tokens). However, investors who get in during the power hour (first hour of the ICO, which is 3pm to 4pm GMT) will get 1200 EDG for 1 ETH. Investors after the power hour but within the first week will get 1100 EDG for 1 ETH, and investors in the second week will get 1050 EDG for 1 ETH.

The Edgeless team released a big FAQ about the project, ICO, goals, team, etc. that investors should read before investing any money in the ICO.

Like some of the other ICOs, Edgeless is staying away from the US market. This is to ensure that the company doesn’t get in any trouble with the law and regulations, which are overly burdensome and onerous for businesses catering to Americans. In addition, American law doesn’t take well to gambling operations, even if Americans want those services. Therefore the ICO will have IP restrictions on who can participate, with Americans being excluded. It is a pity, because there are many Ethereum investors and enthusiasts in the US.

The Edgeless token is also a little different from the other recent ICOs in that there are no ‘dividends’. Instead, all token holders will enter a lottery-type system which collects 40% of all fees collected on the platform. The rest goes to the development team.

Other Ethereum ICOs

Edgeless plans to raise between 370,000 to 440,000 ETH, depending on the timing of money received during the ICO. At current prices of $14.7 per ETH, this translates to $5.44 million to $6.47 million. The company hopes that recent successful ICOs on Etherum have whetted investor appetite for bigger ones. Just in February 2017, Santiment raised its goal of 12,000 ETH in a matter of a few hours. Then, Dfinity raised around $3.9 million with a $1 million goal. Finally, Melon sold out its ICO of $2.9 million in under 10 minutes.

Edgeless hopes that investors will be willing to invest more money into its ICO, with the attraction of capturing a part of the gambling market. With an average expectation of $6 million, its ICO will be one of the largest ones in 2017 thus far, if it is successful. Investors can get more information about Edgeless ICO from the official crowdsale website. Check out the homepage here.

Disclaimer: US citizens are not legally allowed to participate in Edgeless Project crowdsale.

Photo Credit: World Poker Tour