Token Talk: Dx Chain ICO and GAMB ICO review

Dx Chain - Big Data and machine learning

DX Chain or D chain with a silent x (according to their data tech lead) is a new blockchain crossing the spheres of cryptocurrency, cloud computing and Big Data processing (Hadoop in particular).

The hard cap is showing as $21.5 million, of which $17.5 million is already raised from presale and institutional investors. KYC whitelist registration opened on July 9 and will run for a couple of weeks followed by the crowdsale, end of July/ start of August, date to be confirmed. No details available at this point on the bonuses or lockups given on the early rounds so hard to say the risk of a very quick dump after ico.

Let’s look at the team,  which is quite heavyweight, and has heavy business and technical expertise. Wei Wang, one of the co-founders, big on the Big Data experience on paper, also watched an interview with him, and he knows his Big Data in depth. James Li and Alan Zung - good experience in blockchain. Moving over to the investors, they have a host of impressive backers, but remember they have about 80% of the funds already on board. If it suited them, they could easily drop the crowdsale, collect any needed money from partners and proceed. But they obviously would not have all those token holders and small speculators championing the cause if they did.

The whitepaper is more of a technical paper and will take quite a bit to get through but I found it was very well laid out and here is my simpleton’s summary. Like Ankr the other week, they are going for chain on chain, so they can have a super performing and expandable blockchain and they will be using proof of useful work and proof of spacetime. The first being miners doing a computational task that would be linked with the Big Data/AI processing the platform will offer, and the second - a new algorithm measuring disk space being offered.

Then there is Hadoop which is an Apache open source software that is a strong player in the processing of stupidly large distributed data sets to help data scientists find the meaning of life or how many fish does the average Somalian sea pirate dream about eating in a lifetime. Here they say that ordinary players cannot afford the technical setup to run Hadoop and therefore this opens the markets to a whole new category of clients.

So with all the above giving big pluses, it is time to take a look at the hype, which is a little more difficult to judge as they pushed their Telegram group through the roof with an airdrop, which I don’t think helps the project over the long run and was needed. Despite that, I am seeing investors talking about them and coupled with the team/investors I think this is causing a lot of actual healthy interest for now.

On that basis, I would rate it as bullish for a short term view on the investment, but timing will matter.

For the long term, I am going to rate as neutral. I am sure they will make great progress because of the sector, the team and the VC money with guidance backing them.  But maybe they have a secret business plan, which they haven’t revealed or maybe they felt that the average ICO investor found Big Data complicated enough and would not get it, so no point to confuse them.

The concern for me is that they talk about bringing something completely new - Hadoop - via distributed cloud computing, saying that players cannot get this without big investments in equipment, but a quick Google of AWS Hadoop will give you a very different story.

And then they give fuzzy use cases for clients wanting Big Data analysis and machine learning, forgetting that the biggest challenges in the business world of Big Data are getting the data in a clean format that is ready to use (can be up to 60% of the task) and opening up the data. I could go on and on but in simple terms, they just make out as if the company with Big Data just looked at the platform and agreed, let’s send it over. There is a whole world of complication there not even talked about.

The project is probably strong enough to mutate and adapt, and make sense of it in the long term but probably not in the simple form laid out at present.

Gamb - Global Alliance of Merchants on the Blockchain

This project caught my eye because the idea/business case is compelling, the team has massive industry experience in their chosen sector, they have an existing network of online merchants turning over €2.3 billion a year, and on certain ICO rating sites they are getting massive attention, most of it very positive. Their Telegram group is attracting attention even approaching the 100,000 member mark.

Private sale was, I believe, 30% bonus, presale is on for all of July with 15% and main crowdsale is sometime in August. Their hardcap is $30 million, a token is approximately $0.09.

Let’s give some quick background, starting with tech giants such as Amazon that have effectively reached monopoly market dominance for online retail in many geographical locations and as such dictate terms to suit themselves, and within the business model will always be seeking to exploit their margin as high as it can be. This can be very tough on the smaller- to medium-sized online businesses, and for new entrants trying to establish foot traffic to their stores.

Gambio has been offering e-commerce all in one packages for retailers to set up an online ready to go shop in as simple as possible method and, since their inception in 2005, they have increased the number of merchants to over 25,000.

They now want to set up a merchants alliance where a governing body will run a decentralized operation, merchants have a vote and a governing body is running a blockchain-based alternative to Amazon. The benefits  are listed throughout the whitepaper as are the internal mechanisms for making this happen. The GMB token will be mandatory for paying membership fees to the Alliance, plus members must hold a stake in GMB to join. Reward schemes will run on the token but the token is not a core part of the actual payment transaction system.

The explanations are well set out and the marketing side of the business and the ICO is slick and impressive.

The team appears to be largely the original gambio e-commerce team migrated into the new venture beefed up with experts in online retailing to give the business that transition from marketplace software to actual decentralized marketplace. From the point of an online retail enterprise, looking to make a serious impact on the market, they definitely do stack up with talent and experience.

Let’s look at the short-term potential for the investor as they say they will be on exchanges not too long after they finish the funding and start operations/ building the model. In general, appearances are deceptive and by their own admission most of the Telegram members are there as part of a bounty scheme where they have received approx $9 of future tokens for coming.  They are 5 days into a prolonged pre-sale and whilst they might reach their targets, there at present is not much fear of missing out from investors, making unmet demand for post-ICO. So the short term assessment is neutral.

As for long-term assessment, let’s split the subject into parts, as an online marketplace, they have traction, existing skills and a damn good team. Online retailing is a competitive sphere but I would rate this team as having a good chance of commercial success. For the long-term assessment for the ICO investor, I would rate it as neutral with the following points of concern needing to be noted: the bounty campaign could have cost anywhere between $450,000 to $750,000 to “spread the word” or create the look of market interest; this might not represent a good use of the ICO funds in really getting the word out to whom matters.

It has been noted that they lack blockchain expertize in the team and when asked by some people, they have mentioned blockchain partners who cannot be disclosed at this point. It could be said to be a weakness but I believe it is not crucial as the amount of real blockchain work they need to set up isn’t that large and can be subcontracted. The token for this project is not core, nor is the blockchain, they are additional items probably added at concept stage to allow a token generation event to generate the capital.

How many merchants will actually want to get involved in the governance? Smaller players are busy. If larger players get involved, it would be for self-promoting reasons. To be effective, the venture will need to run like a profitable competing company, which it probably will, rendering the “alliance” more of a marketing tool.

Within the project scope, it is mentioned that a blockchain decentralized solution will reform the sector but traditional fiat money processing extortionate fees from Paypal more likely will still remain. No alternatives offered, just mentions of future directions.

And finally, there is no visible or promised MVP before the ICO, the existing commercial success of the previous firm Gambio is not the MVP, even though it shows the participants have access to an existing client base.