ICOs, Initial Coin Offerings

EquaCoin ICO: Evaluation and Analysis

EquaCoin ICO

The Quick Pitch

“EquaCoin is a cryptocurrency that is designed to support democratic principles and behavior,” the Equacoin whitepaper reads. “The name EquaCoin comes from the synthesis of ‘Equality’ and ‘Coin’. Our mission is to build and constantly improve an innovative monetary instrument that will allow each person who owns at least one EquaCoin to vote and participate in a Democratic Marketplace.”

“Each person in the EquaCoin Family will, therefore, be able to share ideas for projects, to write up and present projects to the Democratic Marketplace, where each person will also vote on which projects to finance with EquaCoin. EquaCoin will distribute a free wallet with one coin in it to each new user upon identity validation. EquaCoin will be available for purchase in larger numbers.”

The EquaCoin Initial Democratic Coin Offering (IDCO) is scheduled to begin on November 3rd, 2017, with the sale to conclude on or before December 3rd, 2017. There will be a sale target of one billion EquaCoins, and the sale will end when that target is met. Participation information and the address to the wallet are not available currently.

The Problem and Solution

Fiat currency is a funny thing. Unlike most commodities, such as gold or stocks, fiat currency represents a stored value that is completely dependent on forces separate from fiat currencies’ users. Representing nothing but the user’s faith in the issuing country’s ability to satisfy the value of the currency, fiat currency has no underlying value except for what the governing banks’ assign it, no popular participation in its policies, lending policies that tends to be in opposition of the end user, and no real sense of ownership from the user class.

The lack of control represents a tangible denial of power, according to EquaCoin.

“The history of money systems often shows a pattern of Aristotle’s science of money being discovered; used in building the society; corrupted and then lost; and again being rediscovered over time by another culture,” the whitepaper quotes American Monetary Institute founder Stephen Zarlenga as saying. “Even when various specific commodities were used as money (or to represent money) it was the law that made them so. Yet it’s important to understand that it is not just the law which gives value to money.”

“Money has value because of skilled people, resources, and infrastructure, working together in supportive enough social and legal frameworks, creating values for living. Money is the indispensable lubricant that lets things ‘run’. It is not tangible wealth in itself, but a power to obtain wealth. Money is an abstract social power based in law and is an unconditional means of payment.”

EquaCoin seeks to change that by creating an altcoin that is, at its core, a democratic platform. The idea is that most people, starting with Europe first, will be given a wallet with one free EquaCoin in it. A person will be free to buy more EquaCoins, but each EquaCoin represents a vote on whether the platform should incubate and fund a start-up. Any start-ups that are incubated by the platform will be 30 percent owned by the platform itself.

In this sense, everyone, theoretically, will have a say in how the fund grows, creating a new currency where the user class makes all of the rules.

The Team

The Italian-based EquaCoin’s team includes:

  • Marco Saba, CEO. Per the EquaCoin webpage, Saba is an economist specializing in money creation issues. He has served for ten years as the chief researcher at the Italian Center for Monetary Studies and is the author of three books.
  • Giovanni Ciallella, CTO. Per the EquaCoin webpage, Ciallella is the co-founder of JobRapido, Emotilogic, Ubiter, MagicPed, and others. His experience extends to the 1990s where he managed several pre-Internet 2.0 BBSs.
  • Nadia Labanca, CFO.
  • Eliahu Gal-Or, CIO.

The Token

The token, which is set to have an opening value of 0.70€ per coin, will have unique features, including a two-factor authorization process for additional security.

Unlike other altcoins that rely on the nature of distributed ledgers to provide their security, EquaCoin decided to take the matter into their own hands by not only requiring password authorization but also fingerprints and Dynamic Face Recognition. To use or transfer the coin, the user must log in to the EquaCoin platform. After entering his/her PIN, the system will scan and verify the user’s fingerprints (at least two and up to five). Once this is verified, the system will scan the user’s face, check to see that the scan is from a real face and not a photograph and verify the scan from its consistently updating database, noting minor changes in facial geometry from the last scan.

One billion of the projected 500 billion EquaCoins will be offered during the IDCO, with a 30 percent bonus in place for IDCO purchasers. Each EquaCoin will represent a vote in the “EquaZone,” a democratic autonomous organization (DAO) that will be able to determine what investment projects it should invest on based on coin-holders’ votes. Eighty percent of the 500 billion EquaCoin will be held in reserve, for the use of the platform to equalize coin pricing.

After the IDCO, the price of an EquaCoin will be locked at 1€ per coin. There are no provisions set up for buybacks or for early exiting.

The Community

The EquaCoin code is not available for peer review. Little is known of how EquaCoin will work, besides what was disclosed in the whitepaper.

There has not been much chatter regarding EquaCoin. With 150 tweets, but only 36 followers, the EquaCoin team is making minor noise on Twitter, to debatable results. EquaCoin’s Facebook page has sporadic postings as well. It appears that the community is not incredibly robust and that social media is not abuzz with interest in Equacoin overall.

Next Steps

It is hard to get excited about platforms that announce that they will shake up the status quo; too many have gone down this road and failed. The notorious failure of the DAO, caused by a massive hack attempt, has shown the risks involved in trying to move too far too quickly.

However, if it is to be believed that security was significantly upgraded for this DAO, maybe this attempt may constitute a mature effort. Yet, there are still too many unanswered questions to be able to ascertain if this platform is a viable investment option. For instance, will the EquaCoin ever be able to grow beyond its target value?  If so, how will the platform control that growth? As always, the investor is advised to carefully vet any investment opportunities before committing.

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