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Darico wants to be the Bloomberg of the cryptocurrency world.
A startup company based in Switzerland, Darico will build an information network where people can come to get fully informed on their purchases before sinking money into a token. Their platform will involve both a wallet and an exchange for purchasing and holding tokens, but the centerpiece will be a terminal for gathering data on prospective purchases. If it works, the company will have put together a one-stop-shop for researching, buying, and holding cryptocurrencies.
The Problem and Solution
The problem, as Darico’s founders aptly describe, is that the cryptocurrency space is defined by a glut of options and information. At the time of publishing, more than 1,400 different individual cryptocurrencies have entered the market with at least three boasting capitalizations in excess of $1 billion.
This has led to a vast amount of information in the ecosystem. Veteran cryptocurrency traders are getting increasingly overwhelmed, while new entrants barely know where to start. What few tokens the layperson knows about are often cripplingly expensive and the rest easily vanish into the cacophony.
The Darico platform will break this problem down by building an effective, easy-to-use information network. The centerpiece of their project will be the “ecosystem,” a series of apps and services which will allow users to look up data on cryptocurrencies, prices, ICOs, and more. The company promises that this ecosystem will be updated not only by user information but with research and published data from Darico itself. This promise, however, may not be all it is cracked up to be, as the final section below discusses.
This will take the form, mostly, of a news and market information terminal surrounded by specific data on cryptocurrencies that the user elects to track. The ecosystem will also come with a token wallet, an exchange, and an index fund built around multiple cryptocurrencies. Users will be able to connect their wallet and exchange behavior back to the terminal, pulling up specific information on trades they are looking to make.
All in all, the goal of Darico is to provide a market watching platform for cryptocurrency traders, one which makes it as easy as possible to sort through all of the available information and find the data traders need.
Founder and CEO Mojtaba Asadian began his career as an entrepreneur when he launched Central Perk, LLC, a company which ran a series of unlicensed cafes based on the famous coffee shop from Friends. The company operated shops in Dubai and Geneva. His LinkedIn profile also credits him for founding both a capital fund and a consulting firm.
Kelly Stafford, the company’s community manager, appears to have graduated from college in 2017, claiming a degree from the University of Essex. According to her LinkedIn biography, she currently works at the marketing firm what.digital. This is likely through an intentional partnership between the two companies, as Darico has several advisors from what.digital.
Liwaa Chehayeb, Darico’s Business Development Manager, appears to be equally young, having graduated from the University of Dubai in 2017. Darico is his second position after receiving his degree, his first having been as a junior accountant with a Dubai bank.
The Darico team is a mixed bag. Asadian’s experience appears extensive and this reporter can confirm the reality of Central Perk, having once visited their Geneva location. Asadian also claims to have founded the London based capital firm of Blackhawk Capital and the Dubai consulting firm Alpha & Beta Group, which gives him a deep bench of experience as an entrepreneur and leader. However, Blackhawk Capital in London has no information relating to Asadian as one of its founding partners, which is an odd omission for a small financial organization, and at time of writing the only information publicly available about Alpha & Beta Group at all was in Darico’s press material.
Too, hiring a youthful community manager may not in and of itself raise red flags, as many companies have chosen to trend young with regard to social media. However, Darico’s selection of a man with less than two years of experience to lead its entire business development program is more concerning. A more mature project would, generally speaking, attract more mature talent and it is worth asking why Darico did not.
Darico refers to its token as a “utility token.” This is generally accurate.
The Darico coin is a means to an end. The company’s goal is to become an elite information source, one which provides both investors and enthusiasts with the kind of data they need to make smart choices with their money. As such, this is not a token project in and of itself; rather the DRC is a means of fueling that network.
According to the project whitepaper, users will spend DRC tokens “to access the products and services available within the Darico Ecosystem.” There is no more specific information available as to what form that will take, and which services will be free. However, it is apparent that Darico intends its internal network to run on token-based access.
The value of the token will be sustained through a number of mechanisms. In addition to limiting the supply of DRC tokens to no more than 240 million, Darico also plans to maintain a liquidity pool. This portfolio of bitcoin, Ether, and gold will back the value of the DRC, in theory keeping the token’s price stronger than it would necessarily have been otherwise. While it is far from certain that this will work (asset-backed currencies have their own problems), it is a novel solution to the volatility that many cryptocurrencies experience.
Darico maintains a relatively light community footprint. Its Facebook page is updated every few days with announcements related to the company. The same is true of Darico’s Twitter feed, which largely mirrors its Facebook page. Neither of these sources provides much in-depth information, both typically relying on outlinks.
The company’s Medium blog is similarly svelte. Starting in mid-January, Darico’s news page has been updated every few days. None of the posts, however, appear to be particularly in-depth. The average is either a personnel announcement or an industry observation. This contrasts with many other cryptocurrency projects that use their Medium blogs to post in-depth product discussions and technical details.
Readers should exercise extreme caution before purchasing into the Darico ICO as it comes with highly punitive terms and conditions which could, under some circumstances, strip investors of their tokens.
The company is currently holding its first public coin offering. Tokens went on sale starting January 1 and Darico anticipates keeping the sale going until July 30. Periodic bonuses will be applied to DRC purchases during the sale (at time of writing, investors could qualify for a 20 percent bonus). Anyone interested can find the purchase page here.
However, in doing so readers should be warned that the company has set up a web of fine print that not only limits the DRC’s investment value but that also, arguably, could make purchasers liable for helping Darico develop content for its website.
Below the window inviting consumers to enter their personal information is a long, poorly formatted block of white-on-black text in 9-point font. It says, in a nutshell, that by purchasing this token, you are agreeing to help build Darico’s information network, that the company has no responsibility to actually do so itself, and that you may not sell off your tokens for a profit.
These terms include a paragraph in which the buyer agrees to participate in Darico’s ecosystem as a condition of purchase and that “the Ecosystem surrounding this project is NOT solely dependent upon the efforts of Company managers.” This is a clause which, essentially, allows Darico to crowdsource its promised network of information, and which lets them off the hook in case that fails.
What is more, not only are you now arguably bound to contribute to this Ecosystem in some undefined way but under paragraph (i) you may also be required to “potentially contribute to the technical development of the Ecosystem.” This contract is ill-defined, so there is no sense of what Darico means by this or what it intends to ask from its customers in terms of either content or technical skill. A buyer who does not meet the terms of this ambiguous agreement could risk forfeiting all of his or her DRC along with the purchase price.
Still, that might not be so bad, because those coins are “solely for the purpose of receiving or providing the services… You are not purchasing the tokens for any other purposes, including investment, speculative or financial purpose.”
In other words, no making money off these tokens. You can use them only within Darico’s walls and may not sell them off.
Of course, you’ll probably be too busy to do so anyway, as under paragraph (u) anyone who buys a coin becomes an active member of the Ecosystem (again, by contract) and “must maintain all records as to ownership amounts, correct address and physical location, location of your Wallet, participation efforts,” etc. You have to tell them pretty much everything about how you use cryptocurrency and also where you live.
Questions and Answers
What is the price of a DRC token?
Tokens are sold for $1 U.S. per token, with discounts based on when you buy.
What is the minimum investment required?
According to the project’s whitepaper, $10 U.S.
What exchange will the DRC be listed on?
At the time of writing, no exchanges are listed for the DRC.
How do I buy the token?
The Darico token is available through the project’s website, by going to https://darico.io/en/accounts/signup/.