Foam ICO review - an alternative to GPS for smart contracts on the blockchain

A little background: they were going to crowdsale quite a while ago and then put everything on hold, maybe to avoid the worst of the bear market, maybe to get the mvp working, maybe to get the community off the ground. But now they seem to be ready to go and whitelisting opens on July 16 for ten days and then the Token Sale starts July 31.

This is another protocol project that will enhance other blockchain networks starting with Ethereum and then they hope to add other networks. The enhancement they add is a location verification system that is not dependant on existing ones which can be spoofed or are not always available (such as away from line of sight of GPS satellites) that can be used in smart contracts.

XYO ico, a few months ago were offering something in the same sphere but independent of any networks, very centralized, but I think the market lost faith in that one due to the structuring of the offer where they wanted an unlimited cap at one point, then $48 million,  and were busy raising lots of money in a different offering with equity shares. Seemed wrong and the market replied with only $12 million, so they kind of agreed.

Foam have a very different feel about them, and they are taking a very strong community route, which may take a little longer to get there but could also build a very strong location serving network at the same time.

The network and the protocol would offer the infrastructure that where people need to verify location, the mining community and token holders would respond with services. There is a massive potential in trustless location services which is why even though its early stages, this offering has promise.

In reality the whole backbone would work off a technology called LoRaWan, which in simple terms is a little cheap as chips beacon that can send a signal over a 10km radius on a watch battery and run for up to 5 years. If you want to know a bit more, Google The Things Network. Maybe I am a little techy, but this stuff and where location proofing can go, is infinitely exciting.

You and a few friends for a small investment could throw a LoRaWan network across a city within a short period offering the backbone. The protocol operates on different levels and operating rules to allow everybody on board and governance and it is all quite well laid out across the whitepaper and supplementary offerings.

The team seems ok, very tech driven, not a great deal of experience in the business sphere but they connect well with the development community. I’m a little worried if there are the dynamo characters in the team to drive this beast to the level it needs to be. Time will tell or maybe community will tell.

Their hard cap is $ 24 million and beware, the tokens are initially locked and for transfers you will have to jump through hoops of actually using them in the system as a method of getting everyone involved and understanding how things happen. As a short term flip, this one is not only neutral, it is a definite no, which is why I think they are aiming for 300 million tokens will be released for $ 0.08 each.

As a long bet, very bullish, it’s an early stage entry.

Things to note, there seem to be no real clear details of how you would set yourself up to provide beacons, network, mining etc, which is a major detail. Can’t see yet the tech spec of the best way to build the lorawan, it needs to be more clearly laid out for me.

But still, it’s a runner for me.

NOIA Network ICO review - making The Internet More Efficient

Token sale begins on 16 July and runs for a month. They looking to hard cap out at $24 million and the ticker is NOIA.

Why did this one catch my attention? Well at first it was the team choice (their backgrounds at Microsoft, JP Morgan, etc.) and then secondly, a straightforward approach to the ICO without the false overhype clouding the issues.

Let's get down to the business which is pretty simple to go through. Web driven applications and a similar need for more and more data. As this market exploded, Amazon Web Services saw the potential and with massive investment and standardization grew from nothing to market dominance. As they did, the other big players jumped in such as Google because the market is growing and growing. Now, the next level to the market being touted around is decentralized cloud networks delivering comparative services but much cheaper as the computing resource is normally miners providing the power whilst mining from smaller computers that might also have other main uses.

So you introduce a new resource that can scale and you have a service that can compete or be offered in addition that should be much, much cheaper. Dadi launched on this basis, still early days, but the returns have been poor, something like 0.25 of the ico value, but they had a major issue with accusations of a copied whitepaper. Ankr was reviewed last week and they are very popular with the more discerning ICO investors at present, but the offering is a little more extended.

Noia say they can deliver storage for USD 0.01 per GB compared to the market standard of USD 0.08 at present: if true, compelling logic. As the storage space will be sold for NOIA tokens, with easy conversion fiat gateways for users, a limited supply and more use would lead to inflation.

These guys have been listening to the market carefully and whilst they delayed their crowdsale, they reduced the hard cap from $36 million to $24 million, a wise move. Their mvp claims to have 4000 nodes working at present, which is a promising sign.

In evaluation the team looks good, not superstar but solid, the sector will have money in the future and there is plenty of space for many players. In the short term, investors’ understanding of distributed cloud services for me is poor at present, and it can be hard to get the initial hype that would lead to a good flip, so in the short term, I say neutral.

Long term prospects are bullish but with a warning that I don’t know how long, long term is, maybe a few years.

The supply and demand equation of this network will be crucial and how they handle a big rollout. The system architecture seems to pivot on a NOIA network card that any node will need to release the extra storage space and to actually build a functioning balanced cloud system. They say they are out to technical proposal with manufacturers but I believe the actual network card could come in at several hundred dollars. I am wondering further down the line, when new capacity needs to come on line whether it can easily allow the rapid expansion that would give good returns on the token. I suppose it will depend a lot on how possible node holders view the equation, and what money they really can make on their machine for the investment of the card. At present the prediction is something like $ 50 per month for a machine online for 12 hours.

But in all cases, my worry would be that outside of the business doing ok, maybe the token will not deliver the best results as massive expansion is not frictionless.

Honourable mentions this week go out to Developeo ICO for the most straightforward promotional video I have seen yet.