BMJ Score: 3.6
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CommentaryWhile cryptocurrencies and ICOs can be excellent investments, they can also be dangerous for the uninformed investor. Current problems in this space center are that the crypto market is poorly understood, easy to manipulate, and complex. Individuals need help making reliable insights on crypto, and XResearch wants to provide that help. XResearch aims to create a decentralized crypto investment platform to offer tools and research. While this is a very competitive space, we like that XRES is looking beyond content sharing and is honing in on content creation and compensation. All token holders have the opportunity to contribute their own content, and contributors will be compensated based on views they bring, quality of content, and quantity of contributions.This is an interesting use case for blockchain because all ratings, news content, and data will be hashed and put on the blockchain to measure effectiveness and guarantee transparency. In addition, the token is more than a utility coin; it also enables token holders to purchase research services at a discount, gain the ability to publish their own content to get paid, and receive ownership of the company in an aggregate of 5%. The platform itself will be built on the Ethereum network, but does not yet exist. While we are impressed with the team members and their successful backgrounds in both finance and blockchain, the fact that their platform will not be fully functional until 2020 is our biggest concern. There are plenty of other projects out there trying to bridge the crypto knowledge gap that have working MVPs, and we worry that XResearch might lag behind its competition.
- How to invest: Anyone who wishes to participate in the XRES Token sales must first register on the main site (https://xres.io/) to be whitelisted for the presale or public sale.
- Discount: Days 1-10 30%, days 11-20 25%, and days 21-31 20%
- Eligibility: Open to all non-US, non-China, and non-India participants
- Payments Accepted: BTC, ETH, and XRP
- Jurisdiction: Cayman Islands
- Problem addressed/solved: As an emerging technology, the cryptocurrency market has exploded since 2009 with over 1,700 different altcoins, but there is little information on the overall market that would help investors make informed decisions. Independent financial analysis of these coins is hard to come by as many people in the space seek to promote coins by providing high rated analysis for projects with which they work. Additionally, information on the cryptocurrency market is spread out across multiple unaffiliated websites with varying degrees of quality. There is no reliable source of accurate information for crypto markets that adequately addresses the needs of professional or retail investors by aggregating critical information into one portal.
- Target customers/customer/ segments/verticals: XResearch wants all interested investors to subscribe to their platform. Anyone looking to invest in crypto may find their independent analysis useful when making decisions. XResearch also wants to form B2B relationships with top tier investment firms (investment banks, hedge funds, pension funds) in order to drive institutional money into the company. The team’s previous experience on Wall Street will undoubtedly help its case when forming these relationships.
- Value creation: The XResearch vision is to become the primary resource that people turn to for information and analysis of cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and related topics. The project has three main objectives: (1)provide curated data, news feeds, and research on cryptocurrency markets, technology, and tokens relevant to investors, prospective investors, research analysts, and visitors to its website with an interest in cryptocurrencies, (2) establish a platform where independent research analysts can publish, validate, and receive compensation for their own research on cryptocurrency markets and tokens, and (3) establish a marketplace platform for crypto-related products and services.
- Competition: XResearch will have to first overtake the current ICO ratings websites like ICODrip, ICOBench, and ICOtracker. It appears that it is going for a more elite version of these sites with verified contributors and more intense research on each project. Since it offers a free version along with the paid one, it gives both novice and experienced investors the content they want.
- Market size/potential: XResearch will be heavily dependent on the mass adoption of blockchain and altcoins as well as an increased interest in the new asset class of cryptos. As of writing, the market has yet to recover from the steep decline that occurred in January. If the market hits another bull run, XResearch may have plenty of budding investors knocking on its door for those independent analysis reports.
- Regulatory risks: There are substantial regulatory risks around the uncertainty of the crypto space within the US and other regions like China and India. The fact that crypto is volatile and uncertain is a big risk for XResearch because the project’s success is contingent upon demand for the crypto market itself.
- Investor value: All XRES token holders receive a variety of benefits as they are able to: (1) contribute independent research, become verified, and charge a subscription fee for submitted content, (2) track trading history via exchange APIs for an immutable track record of trading history, (3) purchase research services from the core team and verified community members, (4) become a compensated validating node on the network that verifies transactions, and (5) own a percentage equity in the company (XRES token holders will, altogether, own 5% equity in the company).
- Disclosures: XResearch hits the mark when disclosing its team and future plans for the project (roadmap). The project could stand to add more information to its 28-page whitepaper as it lacks some fundamental aspects like an index and detailed token usage information. It would also benefit from adding another document such as a lite paper, one-pager, or business presentation.
- Token distribution: 65% ICO, 20% reserve, 10% treasury, 5% team/founders.
- Use of proceeds: 50% development, 30% sales & marketing, 10% operations & management, 5% general and administrative, and 5% legal & regulatory.
- Caps: No indication of soft cap; Hard cap: $45 million USD
- Track record: The XResearch core team has schooling from top universities such as Harvard and U Chicago and have spent 30+ years as Wall Street VCs; mutual fund, hedge fund, and portfolio managers; institutional traders; and investment banking professionals. Therefore, they have extensive knowledge in the world of investments with the hope of transferring that knowledge to the crypto markets. The CIO, Charles Wyman, holds a Bachelor's Degree magna cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. He is a previous employment Partner, Portfolio Manager, and Chief Risk Officer at Seaport Investment Management, a multi-asset fund investing in fixed income securities, equities, derivatives, and commodities. He has also served as an advisor to ICOs such as BankEx. Furthermore, the team’s blockchain expert, Neil Benedict, has developed smart-contract architectures for private placement exchanges, micro-financing, real estate, as well as complex and illiquid asset classes, natural resources, and futures markets.
- Integrity: There’s no arguing the qualifications of the XResearch team. They’ve worked for some of the most esteemed financial services companies on the planet after completing their educations at school such as Harvard, U Chicago, and Georgetown. After building reputations on Wall Street, the team wants to take its research skills into the emerging market of cryptocurrency. It’s safe to say that the XResearch team represents itself as one of the most trustworthy groups on paper.
- Alain Oberrotman, CEO (LinkedIn)
- Charles Wyman, CIO (LinkedIn)
- Barry Cohen, COO (LinkedIn)
- Neil Benedict, Chief Blockchain Officer (LinkedIn)
- MVP: The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) will be a website similar to CoinDesk where users have free access to a variety of data services, including but not limited to lead news stories, scrolling new stories, market quotes, YouTube videos for training and marketing, an event calendar, and links to social media. It’s expected to launch in Q1 of 2019.
- Token use case (What does it do? Is it really required?): All XResearch, Crypto Online Media core services can be paid for with XRES Token or specified fiat currencies. That will provide investors with access to independent investment research and data services for cryptocurrency markets worldwide. In addition, XRES Tokens will confer to the holder a fractional interest in the equity of the company.
- Value-added: Only XRES token holders will have access to the members site and its different tiers of privileges. XRES token payment will yield a discount over fiat payment and give its holders a variety of benefits. The XRES token has many functions including a indicator of equity in the company even though it’s labeled as a utility token.
- Decentralization: The XRES token and blockchain will provide critical functionality for the project and for its users. The platform will operate as a decentralized application with validating nodes being rewarded for maintaining the ecosystem.
- Token Supply: Max supply of 1 billion XRES
- Technical difficulty/investment expertise needed: The XResearch project has a lot of moving parts, but the team does a good job of explaining it so that the newest investors still understand the concepts. It is building a platform where highly skilled institutional/individual investors along with novice participants can educate themselves on the top investments in the crypto world. XResearch has a solid video on YouTube with a breakdown of the project in under 5 minutes.
- Halo effect: XResearch lists Oracle (Silver Partner), Harneys, and Sadis Goldberg as their partners. The clear and obvious behemoth of the group is Oracle. As a silver partner, XResearch has been granted a list of benefits that can be found at the following link.
- Buzz: XResearch has nearly 17,000 Telegram members, but its social media accounts are lackluster at best. The project has less than 2,000 followers across all accounts and its posts average less than 10 likes.