BMJ Score: 3.9
Quick Summary18 Investors read this
CommentaryBlockchain technology has introduced a large number of new crypto assets to the market, but many individuals do not have the expertise to safely manage and trade these assets. Membrana wants to help investors by creating a blockchain platform for concluding mutually beneficial and secure contracts between investors and traders for trust management of cryptocurrency assets. The platform itself will act as a transparent, decentralized, and secure system that will control the process of concluding and executing a contract up to the point of revenue gained by both parties. Membrana has an algorithm that will solve the need for involvement of an intermediate party who guarantees the safety of funds and provides trust between both parties. There are several projects out there that are focused on connecting investors and traders, making this a very saturated market.The whitepaper is very detailed in terms of platform development and use cases, and while it does address the competitive landscape, we did not see any major differentiators from the competition. There is no indication that the Membrana algorithm has been patented; thus there is no further indication of differentiation.However, we are impressed with the working beta and user-friendly website that lists weekly developments to the platform. The team is also very impressive, with a large group that have verified bios, expertise, credentials, and strong track records. The team also features strong partnerships as well as experienced advisors. The token will be a utility token where holders get free access to trade, find investors, and conclude contracts. There are additional features to the platform that will only be available for token holders with larger amounts. Users do not spend their tokens, but only hold them in their accounts. We are also impressed with the amount of marketing and press that the platform has. There are already over 3,000 registrations, and the project lists several events on the website where users can meet the team and learn more about the platform. Additionally, the project has two big venture capital firms backing it financially. Ultimately, Membrana has a strong team, great transparency, and great marketing. Where it can improve is differentiating its platform from competitors to help it capture the market.
- How to invest: To participate in the Membrana presale, you must first register at the following link. Membrana will provide further instructions after registration.
- Discount: Active 30% bonus that will drop to 25% on January 22nd, 2019.
- Eligibility: US citizens (institutional participators are allowed) and China citizens may not participate.
- Token Price: 1 MBN = $0.02 USD
- Jurisdiction: Cayman Islands
- Payment accepted: ETH, BTC, LTC, and Visa
- Minimum investment: .1 ETH.
- Problem addressed/solved: Membrana is creating a platform for the asset management industry so that its parties may connect directly and conclude a mutually beneficial, secure, and reliable contract. A few of the key problems the project wants to solve include loss of control over invested funds (to get assets in management, the investor needs to send them to a third party or to a trader), middlemen issues (no reliable tool for middleman to work with customers), lack of trust (counterparties don’t trust each other and that limits possibilities for gaining profit), and lack of transparency.
- Target customers/customer/ segments/verticals: Membrana’s target customers consists of hedge funds, venture capitalists, crypto-holders, miners, and casual traders and investors.
- Value creation: Investors and traders alike receive a unique contract-type trust management. For example, traders will never possess an investor’s money, but rather receive temporary access through the fund platform. Risk management and deal transaction will all be conducted through smart contract technology that is both reliable and is based on a decentralized self-executing algorithm. Lastly, all data will be available and stored in the blockchain to verify things like trading activity and ROI.
- Competition: The competition for Membrana will include other tokenized funds or social trading platforms, which, by all accounts, will consist of many competitors. Membrana plans to edge out the competition with its unique risk and portfolio management aspects it claims the competition does not offer. A full competitive analysis can be found in the “Business Overview” document on page 30.
- Market size/potential: According to the Boston Consulting Group’s Global Asset Management Report 2017, the amount of managed assets in 2016 was about 70 trillion US dollars. It’s important to remember that that particular statistic refers to all assets, not just crypto. Crypto asset management has increased over the years, but the down market has certainly slowed the interest from both investors and asset management groups. Membrana will be heavily reliant on the success of the crypto market if it wishes for its platform to really take off.
- Regulatory risks: The biggest risk here is around the fact that the success of this platform is contingent on the success of the crypto market. If the crypto market becomes heavily regulated, it will hurt the success/growth of this platform.
- Investor value: Membrana has created a token model where those who hold MBN tokens receive many significant advantages compared to those who use the platform for free. This model has a higher chance of providing value for investors as more people demand access to the main features of the platform, which are only available to token holders. Demand for the MBN token will be driven by the inherent value the premium features provided to users of the platform.
- Disclosures: Membrana hit the nail on the head regarding the transparency of the project. It has the perfect trio of a whitepaper, one pager, and business overview. All questions will almost certainly be answered after reviewing those three documents. Plus, it has a stellar MVP that gives you real proof of concept since it allows anyone to register and test the working product.
- Token distribution: 40% presale, 15% main sale, 12% private sale, 10% Membrana advisors and partners, 20% Membrana team, and 3% community.
- Use of proceeds: Information not provided.
- Caps: Soft cap: $1 million USD; Hard cap: $8 million USD
- Track record: Membrana has a talented, well-organized team that’s had significant experience in their respective industries. Many of the members, including the CEO, have Master’s Degrees as well. Yury Gerasimov (CEO) is a serial entrepreneur who’s served as a CEO on two prior ventures and has a Master’s Degree from University of St. Petersburg. It’s immediately evident that Membrana puts emphasis on blockchain talent as the project has a number of developers and software engineers on the team. Lastly, Membrana put together a solid group of advisors whose expertise ranges from finance, to ICOs and legal issues.
- Integrity: Investors should have no second thoughts on the integrity of the Membrana team. It consists of many professionals who are deep into their careers and have tangible experience/results to show for it. The team coupled with its strong partnerships and venture capital backing should have no trouble pushing this project to fruition.
- Yuriy Gerasimov, CEO (LinkedIn)
- Pavel Rumkin, CTO (LinkedIn)
- Eugene Buev, COO (LinkedIn)
- Michael Creadon, CBDO (LinkedIn)
- MVP: Membrana has one of the most impressive MVPs of any presale stage project BMJ has reviewed. The project has acquired 3,000+ registrations, has over 100,000 people within its “community”, and already raised $600k for the project even before the token sales. Instructions for accessing the MVP can be found at the following link. Membrana also provides platform interface screenshots on page 34 of the whitepaper.
- Token use case: Membrana users get access to the main system functions for free. The main functions include: trading through a single terminal on any supported exchange, finding a suitable investor or trader, concluding a contract between the investor and the trader, and contract support until its termination. Additional functions are available only to users who have a corresponding number of tokens in their wallet. In this case, users do not spend their tokens, but only hold them in their account.
- Value-added: Membrana token holders don’t necessarily spend their tokens, but rather use them as a way to gain access to 50% off commission fees and advanced features that are unavailable to the common user. You can even join a variety of ICO investment pools if you own the proper amount of MBN tokens. Overall, MBN represents the “premium user” of the platform and grants many advantages to those who hold them.
- Decentralization: Membrana provides investors and traders with a transparent, decentralized and secure system.
- Token Supply: Max supply of 1 billion MBN tokens.
- Technical difficulty/investment expertise needed: Membrana’s platform will exist within the world of fintech; therefore, it naturally scares away timid investors as most of those projects are too complicated to follow. Membrana will essentially serve as the smart contract provider for major financial institutions, and the team provides a nice explanatory video which you can view at the following link.
- Halo effect: Membrana has various partnerships with mostly crypto/blockchain-related companies, and although it does not have any eye-catching names on its partnerships list, it still have solid companies on its side that will undoubtedly bring value to the project. In addition to typical partnerships, Membrana is backed by two venture funds: Coinbar and FirstBlock Ventures. Receiving funds from venture capitalists is one of the best ways to establish yourself as a legitimate project.
- Buzz: Membrana has been featured in a number of press releases from the likes of Reuters, BitcoinNews, CryptoFeed, Coinspeaker, and many more. The project doesn’t have the most impressive social media following (judging solely from its Facebook and Twitter accounts), but the Telegram has a whopping 93,000 members with thousands online at a time. Membrana is clearly committed to generating buzz as it has a ton of social media channels to reach its target audience. Plus, the business plan gives a specific breakdown of the methods the team plans to use to attract customers, including SEO, YouTube, Live Events, Forums, and more.