Alethena

Alethena is the first Swiss Blockchain-Asset rating agency. Reliable due diligence and a resulting rating are established by providing a professional, transparent and in-depth methodology.

About Alethena

Alethena aims to develop create a transparent crypto-asset assessment service (pre-ICO and post-ICO). ATH token holders will be given voting rights with respect to the rating methodology. Research materials will be sold and ratings will published publicly.
It is stated that the organization will conduct due diligence and assess “proper KYC, AML procedures, detailed business case & roadmap, and in-depth overview on token allocation”.

Token Economics Product

Documentation

2.8
Documentation
Comprehensiveness

Does it cover the full scope of the problem and solution?

3.0
N/A
3 - Minimally sufficient information provided.
Readability

How easy is it to read and understand the documentation, comprehend the project's goals and trajectory.

5.0
N/A
5 - Clear, comprehensible, coherent, consistent, concise. Professionally organized and well articulated.
Transparency

Level of disclosure of pertinent information regarding the company and the project, including current stages of development, issues that have been identified and how to address them, potential problems, access to resources and repositories (github repository, patent applications). Honesty with regard to what the project can (vs. wishes to) achieve.

2.0
N/A
2 - Ambiguous non-disclosure. Glossing over important issues.
Presentation of Business Plan and Token Model

What stages are to be achieved, how are they to be carried out and according to what timeline, what is the long-term plan. How well thought-out is the token model and how well does it fit into the company's overall business model.

2.0
N/A
2 - Missing critical information; discussion is brief or very basic, or based on unfounded claims or promises.
Presentation of Platform Technology and Use of Blockchain

What are the platform's core and additional features, how are they to be implemented and according to what timeline, what is the long-term plan. How well thought-out is the use of blockchain technology and how integral is it to the platform.

2.0
N/A
2 - Missing critical information; discussion is brief or very basic, does not address the underlying issues.
Legal Review and Risk Assessment

How professional are the disclaimers, risk assessments, terms and conditions, etc. Is the company working with respectable law/accounting firms? What about due diligence and smart contract auditing? Is a SAFT structure being used (and is the SAFT accessible)?

3.0
N/A
3 - Semi-professional (e.g., includes standard disclaimer, terms and conditions, and risk factors).

Documentation

Comprehensiveness: A number of documents are provided through the company website: the whitepaper, a fact sheet, an information memorandum and the terms and conditions of the platform/token. The token contracts are publicly available on the company GitHub page. The technology plan is not thoroughly discussed (the organization plans to integrate machine learning and automate most of the platform). The business plan lacks some details regarding the fee structure. Details regarding the company and the team are presented clearly. Legal content is professional and fairly thorough.

Readability: The whitepaper is well-written and organized. Information is presented clearly without deliberate obfuscation with the use of buzzwords or technical terms.

Transparency: The details of the token sale and fee structure of the platform are not clearly outlined. The token bonus structure contains contradictory information and may mislead readers. Limitations of the platform and challenges that the company faces are not sufficiently discussed.

The organization provides a self-assessment in the MVP section of the company website. Here, it can be seen that some details of the assessment are provided which are not discussed adequately in the whitepaper, such as the company’s plan to develop an off-chain voting system as well as the discussion regarding the legal uncertainty of the legal status of crypto-related rating sites.

Presentation of Business Plan and Token Model: An overview of the business model is presented in the whitepaper. There are three primary revenue streams:

? a one-time ICO rating fee,
? a quarterly post-ICO rating listing fee, and
? a quarterly user account charge to access detailed information of the analyses

Specific fee structure is not outlined. It is stated that token holders will receive dividends, but the level of information regarding the amount (or proportion relative to revenue) of dividends that the token holder can expect to receive is low.

Presentation of Platform Technology and Use of Blockchain: Although the platform does not seem demanding from a technological development perspective, there seems to be a lack of discussion regarding some aspects of the platform that the organization intends to implement. For example, the voting mechanism is revealed to be based off of an off-chain according to the self-assessment that can be found in the MVP. However, this detail is not stated elsewhere. Furthermore, future developments including machine learning integration are not discussed beyond milestones on the roadmap.

Legal Review and Risk Assessment: There is a document that discussed the terms and conditions of the token offering which can be found through the company website. The document is 7 pages long and is fairly comprehensive. Residents from the United States of America are not permitted to participate in the token sale. Risk factors of the platform, token, and token sale are discussed fairly thoroughly and a disclaimer is included towards the end of the whitepaper. Overall, legal content is professionally written and fairly comprehensive.

 

Documentation Market

Product

2.8
Product
Differentiation

What are the product's unique features / attributes / advantages? How is it different from other, similar products or projects? What makes it stand out or gives it an edge?

3.0
N/A
3 - Some; has a certain edge or angle.
Readiness

Readiness of the full platform, including blockchain/smart-contract/token infrastructure; based on what's publicly available (not just claims).

3.0
N/A
3 - Prototype / MVP / alpha of full product; Traditional platform exists, blockchain integration still in conceptualization.
Concreteness of Development Plans

How detailed is the roadmap? How well defined is the timeframe? How concrete and detailed are the milestones and how well are they correlated with the business and technology development plans, as well as with funding goals (i.e., fundraising dependent)?

3.0
N/A
3 - An overall plan, major milestones stated with some relevant details.
Current Position within Roadmap

How far along is the project as a whole relative to the plans and roadmap (including growth, not just platform development)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Critical obstacles ahead.
Feasiblity

Are the project's development plans reasonable? Does the long term vision align with core objectives and current development efforts? Does the timeframe make sense?

3.0
N/A
3 - Optimistic.
Blockchain Innovation

What is the level of innovation and development particularly with regard to blockchain technology and its utilization? Do the project's blockchain-related developments have value beyond the company's particular platform or network?

3.0
N/A
3 - Specific, platform-related automation via smart contract functionality.

Product

Differentiation: The platform aims to differentiate itself from other similar services by reducing the issue of conflict of interest. The organization provides a self-assessment that can be found on the MVP section of the company website. Platforms that wish to be listed on the platform will pay the same fee as all other projects. The scoring system is backed by specific assessments based on the information presented by the particular organization.

Readiness: Based on the fact sheet that can be found through the Alethena website, it is stated that “the first ratings will be released by mid of May 2018”. Two assessments can be found on the MVP section of the website, one of which is a self-assessment.

Concreteness of Development Plans: The following roadmap is presented in the whitepaper as follows: 2016 – Founders privately start investing in ICOs, notice the absence of proper due diligence and transparency Jan to April 2017 – Evaluation of project options and market analysis May to June 2017 – Based on early-stage due diligence factors founders participate in 10+ ICOs July 2017 – First prototype of own due diligence methodology is being developed Aug 2017 – Legal structure ‘Equility AG’ is set up and platform and ICO preparations begin Sept to Oct 2017 – White paper development; first discussions with CTO and analyst candidates Dec 2017 – Official go-live of Alethena Jan 2018 – Strategic partners and advisors join, private seed round closed Feb to March 2018 – Finalization of due diligence methodology v1.0 April to July 2018 – ICO to independently fund the development of product and methodology May to Nov 2018 – Further development of due diligence methodology with focus on technical analysis Dec 2018 – Release full product with v2.0 methodology; become top-of-mind Blockchain-Asset Rating in Europe 2019 – Enhance and scale methodology with machine learning and R&D department 2019 − 2020 – Release largely automated v3.0 product Overall milestones are included without obfuscation. Most milestones pertain to business developments.

Current Position within Roadmap: Most of the development thus far has been the conceptualization of the platform and the formation of the team. There are a few sample reports that are available through the “MVP” section after registering an account on the website. Voting mechanisms, increased in automated processes, and machine learning integration are yet to be developed.

Feasiblity: The service is fairly simple compared to most projects. However, the goal to become the “top-of-mind Blockchain-Asset” Rating organization in Europe by December 2018 is somewhat ambitious considering the the organization must develop a considerable user base from scratch as opposed to migrating users from an existing platform.

Blockchain Innovation: The platform does not provide value to other projects from a blockchain technology perspective.

Product Company and Team

Market

2.5
Market
Target User Base

How big is the project's target user base, how large is its potential market?

2.0
N/A
2 - Small audience / niche market.
Market Penetration Potential

How easy or difficult will it be to penetrate this market sector on the scale proposed by the project? How dominant is the hold of current market leaders, and are they maintaining a competitive edge? For reviewers (not for tooltip): This should be generally with regard to both traditional and emerging blockchain solutions (assuming that in most sectors, there are no leading blockchain solutions as of yet, but there may start to be). Also, token regulatory issues that apply equally to all should not be stressed here, unless the project has an extra regulatory issue, or (in the other direction) if the regulatory measures taken help it considerably with market penetration...

3.0
N/A
3 - Moderate, a good strategy is essential.
Direct Competition

How many direct competitors does the project have (that are already known or can be easily found with a simple search), and how much further along are they? This should focus on blockchain-related competition but can include established or notable traditional (non-blockchain) competitors with a strong hold.

2.0
N/A
2 - Quite a few / somewhat better competitors (e.g., 7-10, some further ahead). Blockchain solutions are trendy in the sector.
Solution Advantage

How strong is the project's unique selling proposition (i.e., its stated advantage over similar or comparable ones)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Clear, evident.
Blockchain Disruption

How strong is the potential for disruption of the market sector due to the introduction of blockchain technology, as it is utilized by the solution?

1.0
N/A
1 - None / indeterminate.
Long-Term Vision

What are the long term goals and plans of the project? (In terms of concrete plans, not just hype or vague assertions.)

3.0
N/A
3 - Gain hold over a particular market segment, expand global outreach, possibly expand into other segments or sectors.

Market

Target User Base: The platform is directed towards investors (both casual and experienced) of crypto-assets. Considering that the realm of crypto-assets is still quite small and the organization intends to target only a subset of individuals that are actively investing in ICOs, the demographic of the platform is somewhat niche.

Market Penetration Potential: There are a number of crypto-related due diligence services, some with very signifcant user bases. However, there are fewer platforms that provide full transparency and trust while ensuring that issues regarding conflict of interest are eliminated. The market for crypto-assets in general is fairly young and as a result, the platform has potential to gain market share, but a good strategy is required especially if the organization plans to complete with services with much larger followings.

Direct Competition: Competitors listed in the whitepaper include:
– ICOrating
– Crush Crypto

Other potential competitors include
– ICObench
– Crypto Briefing
– CryptoRated
– ICOreview
– TrackICO
– ICOholder
– ICOmarks
– Foxico
– ICObazaar
– Findico

Solution Advantage: Compared to other platform where potential investors may use to gain insight on crypto-related projects, Alethena has a competitive advantage by providing more in-depth insight and research into each project and provides transparent justification for the scoring of each project. Furthermore, token holders will receive dividends (although the details of this are unclear).

Blockchain Disruption: The platform is utilizing blockchain technology primarily as a means of funding. As a result, the creation of tokens for the purpose of generating funds for a due diligence service is not likely to cause signifcant disruption.

Long-Term Vision: Based on the roadmap, the organization plans to develop a mostly automated product that will utilize machine learning. These aspects of the platform are not discussed (even briefly) in the whitepaper, thus the long-term vision of the platform does not seem concrete. However, the organization aims to position itself as an company that will “enable long-term sustainable ICO investments”.

 

Market Token Economics

Company and Team

3.5
Company and Team
Company Stage and Foundation

When was the company founded, how mature is it? Has it raised significant funds? Where relevant, this should address the parent company. For reviewers (not for tooltip): Check company LinkedIn and Crunchbase profiles. Impression summary should list basic information such as founding date, location/s, previous fundraising rounds (via crunchbase), maybe number of employees (via linkedin).

4.0
N/A
4 - Established with some fundraising history (at least one notable previous investment round).
Team Assembly and Commitment

What is the structure of the team (core members, advisers, contributors)? Are all necessary positions filled or is the company still looking for key team participants? Are the team members fully committed to the project (or involved with other projects simultaneously)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Sufficently assembled and committed.
Background of Lead/Core Team Members

Are LinkedIn (or Github, or other professional) profile links provided, and do they show involvement in the project and relevant previous experience? For reviewers (not for tooltip): If the team is quite large, C-level and certain key team members (such as lead tech/blockchain developers) should be looked at, while other than that, a sample is fine (but this should be mentioned or reflected in the language ["It appears as though..."]).

3.0
N/A
3 - Minimally sufficient.
Relevance of Team's Previous Experience and Skill Set

How relevant are the team members' backgrounds and experience to the project and its requirements? Do they come from related industries and have in-depth knowledge of their respective fields?

3.0
N/A
3 - Correlated to project requirements.
Team Skill Set Balance (biz / tech / blockchain)

Do the team members' backgrounds and experience appear to collectively cover the project requirements? This includes but is not limited to blockchain expertise.

4.0
N/A
4 - Good, sufficient for each aspect.
Strategic Partnerships

What kind of launch partners and early adopters does the project have?

3.0
N/A
3 - A few SMB's; may include founder or advisor related ventures but shows ability to expand beyond.

Company and Team

Company Stage and Foundation: Equility AG is a public limited company founded in August 2017 and registered in the Commercial Registry of the Canton of Zug (UID: CHE-460.255.304). It is stated that Alethena is the sole project of Equility AG and is subject to Swiss law. It is stated that the organization has completed a private pre-sale of CHF 500’000 (approximately $507K USD).

Team Assembly and Commitment: There are 14 core team members presented, along with 11 advisors on the company website. The core team consists of 4 co-founders, 2 individuals focused on technical development, 2 visual designers and the rest focused of business development. Based on the LinkedIn profiles of the 4 co-founders, all show involvement with the project and there are no uncertainties about their commitment to the project for these individuals. The software engineer does not disclose their affiliation with the organization and is concurrently involved with other projects.

Background of Lead/Core Team Members: The team is presented in the whitepaper with bio descriptions that are approximately 150 words in length for each team member. All team members provide a working link to the LinkedIn profile. The level of information presented on the LinkedIn profiles for many of the individuals that are focused on business development is lacking. Some lead team members do not provide sufficient information regarding the responsibilities of prior work experiences.

Relevance of Team’s Previous Experience and Skill Set: It is not clear that the team has individuals that have had prior experience with blockchain-related developments. However, the co-founders have prior experience in finance, more specifically with asset management, auditing, and market research.

Team Skill Set Balance (biz / tech / blockchain): The project does not particularly demand intensive blockchain-related expertise. Overall, when considering the scope of the project, the skill set balance seems sufficient since the organization will only have to set up a functional web page and appropriate (fairly simple) token contracts.

Strategic Partnerships: Partnerships are grouped together with organization memberships on the company website. The details of existing partnerships are not clearly presented. Some of the organizations listed on the company website include:

– https://www.wengervieli.ch
– https://papers.ch
– http://quantumsense.ai/
– http://www.uzh.ch
– www.clarity.pr
– https://blockchain.swisscom.com/
– https://overnice.de/
– https://icofactory.ch/
– https://cryptovalley.swiss/
– https://www.bitcoinassociation.ch/
– https://swissfinte.ch

There are quite a few partnerships/memberships listed, but meaningful affiliation with large-scale organizations is not evident.

 

Company and Team Documentation

Token Economics

2.2
Token Economics
Value Proposition of Token

How much of a need is there for the token? What is the token's utility value, and what is its value as a security?

2.0
N/A
2 - Token issued primarily for fundraising purposes or network effect. Inherent value is minimal or contrived.
Token Economy

How well defined and sustainable is the token economy? This should include circulation, fees, earn/spend mechanisms, inflation/deflation mechanisms, etc.

2.0
N/A
2 - Loosely defined, uncertain or faulty, raises cause for concern.
System Decentralization (besides token)

How decentralized is the solution other than the token (e.g., data collection, storage, access, and use, or decision making processes, etc.)? The purpose here is not to penalize use of centralized components per se, but to assess how decentralization is incorporated.

1.0
N/A
1 - Essentially centralized without due consideration of the broader issue.
Fundraising Goals (Min/Max Raise Amounts)

How sensible are the project's min/max raise amounts or soft/hard caps? (Related to Use of Proceeds but broader).

2.0
N/A
2 - Somewhat greedy or unrelated to plans.
Use of Proceeds (Fund Allocation)

How well-defined and sensible is the planned use of proceeds / fund allocation?

5.0
N/A
5 - Carefully planned and fully transparent.
Token Allocation

How well-defined and reasonable is the token allocation (including vesting, what's done with unsold tokens, etc.)?

1.0
N/A
1 - Obfuscated, or giving company control of market value.

Token Economics

Value Proposition of Token: It is stated that ATH tokens will have “limited voting and profit rights”. In the FAQ section of the website, it is also stated that token holders may receive dividends. However, the details of the dividends that token holders may receive are discussed with significantly low detail. The value ATH tokens are also derived from platform service fees.

Token Economy: The total token supply is not indicated due to the nature of the token offering (dynamic token generation). Some critical aspects, such as token allocation is obfuscated.

System Decentralization (besides token): It is stated that token holders will only have “limited voting rights” due to the fact that the board of directors of Equility AG has certain inalienable powers listed in Art. 698 para 2, Art. 716a, and Art. 706b of the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO). Upon closer investigation, the following powers listed in the Swiss Code of Obligations are not provided to token holders: Art. 698 para 2: 1. to determine and amend the articles of association; 2. to elect the members of the board of directors and the external auditors; 3. to approve the management report and the consolidated accounts; Art. 716a: 1. the overall management of the company and the issuing of all necessary directives; 2. determination of the company’s organisation; 3. the organisation of the accounting, financial control and financial planning systems as required for management of the company; 4. the appointment and dismissal of persons entrusted with managing and representing the company; 5. overall supervision of the persons entrusted with managing the company, in particular with regard to compliance with the law, articles of association, operational regulations and directives; 6. compilation of the annual report, preparation for the general meeting and implementation of its resolutions; 7. notification of the court in the event that the company is over-indebted. Art. 706b (resolutions of the general meeting are void if they): 1. remove or restrict the right to participate in the general meeting, the minimum voting right, the right to take legal action or other shareholder rights that are mandatory in law; 2. restrict the shareholders’ rights of control beyond the legally permissible degree, or 3. disregard the basic structures of the company limited by shares or the provisions on capital protection. As such, the system of governance outlined in a manner that suggests that complete decentralization is not a core value of the organization. However, token holders are given voting rights with respect to the profit that Equility AG chooses (based on the general meeting) to allocate to token holders in ETH (at the exchange rate specified by Equility AG).

Fundraising Goals (Min/Max Raise Amounts): In the FAQ section of the company website, the hard cap 30 million Swiss francs is attempted to be justified by stating that this valuation would allow for “quicker progression, increased scalability, and swift geographical expansion”. Specific financial assessments are not included. The justification is quite vague. Soft cap: 3 million Swiss francs (~$3.06 million USD) Hard cap: 30 million Swiss francs (~$30.6 million USD)

Use of Proceeds (Fund Allocation): The costs associated with operating the platform on a yearly basis is included in a chart which outlines six different ICO funding scenarios. Interim financial statements are also included in the information memorandum (translation required). The following criteria are assessed: – Salaries – Infrastructure – Communications & Marketing – Legal services – Operations

Token Allocation: The proposed token allocation presented by organization is fairly complex compared to most token offerings. The justification for using a dynamic token generation system is not discussed. The company will use a dynamic token generation system with the following pools: – A. Crowd – B. Early backers – C. ICO setup – D. Founders (20%) – E. Buffer (10%) The normal rate (no bonus) is set at 100 ATH = CHF 1 (Swiss franc). There is no clear distinction between the proportion of tokens allocated between pools A, B, and C. It is stated that the distinction between normal and early backers will be based on block height. However, when assessing the table included with the document, block heights of each pool are not clearly outlined. It is stated that the bonus structure will be “contingent on the current block height (the time dimension will be measured in terms of Ethereum block numbers and not in terms of e.g. days)”. However, this is contradictory to the information presented on the company website, which segregates the bonuses based on specific dates.

Documentation

Comprehensiveness: A number of documents are provided through the company website: the whitepaper, a fact sheet, an information memorandum and the terms and conditions of the platform/token. The token contracts are publicly available on the company GitHub page. The technology plan is not thoroughly discussed (the organization plans to integrate machine learning and automate most of the platform). The business plan lacks some details regarding the fee structure. Details regarding the company and the team are presented clearly. Legal content is professional and fairly thorough.

Readability: The whitepaper is well-written and organized. Information is presented clearly without deliberate obfuscation with the use of buzzwords or technical terms.

Transparency: The details of the token sale and fee structure of the platform are not clearly outlined. The token bonus structure contains contradictory information and may mislead readers. Limitations of the platform and challenges that the company faces are not sufficiently discussed.

The organization provides a self-assessment in the MVP section of the company website. Here, it can be seen that some details of the assessment are provided which are not discussed adequately in the whitepaper, such as the company’s plan to develop an off-chain voting system as well as the discussion regarding the legal uncertainty of the legal status of crypto-related rating sites.

Presentation of Business Plan and Token Model: An overview of the business model is presented in the whitepaper. There are three primary revenue streams:

? a one-time ICO rating fee,
? a quarterly post-ICO rating listing fee, and
? a quarterly user account charge to access detailed information of the analyses

Specific fee structure is not outlined. It is stated that token holders will receive dividends, but the level of information regarding the amount (or proportion relative to revenue) of dividends that the token holder can expect to receive is low.

Presentation of Platform Technology and Use of Blockchain: Although the platform does not seem demanding from a technological development perspective, there seems to be a lack of discussion regarding some aspects of the platform that the organization intends to implement. For example, the voting mechanism is revealed to be based off of an off-chain according to the self-assessment that can be found in the MVP. However, this detail is not stated elsewhere. Furthermore, future developments including machine learning integration are not discussed beyond milestones on the roadmap.

Legal Review and Risk Assessment: There is a document that discussed the terms and conditions of the token offering which can be found through the company website. The document is 7 pages long and is fairly comprehensive. Residents from the United States of America are not permitted to participate in the token sale. Risk factors of the platform, token, and token sale are discussed fairly thoroughly and a disclaimer is included towards the end of the whitepaper. Overall, legal content is professionally written and fairly comprehensive.

 

Category Breakdown
Comprehensiveness

Does it cover the full scope of the problem and solution?

3.0
N/A
3 - Minimally sufficient information provided.
Readability

How easy is it to read and understand the documentation, comprehend the project's goals and trajectory.

5.0
N/A
5 - Clear, comprehensible, coherent, consistent, concise. Professionally organized and well articulated.
Transparency

Level of disclosure of pertinent information regarding the company and the project, including current stages of development, issues that have been identified and how to address them, potential problems, access to resources and repositories (github repository, patent applications). Honesty with regard to what the project can (vs. wishes to) achieve.

2.0
N/A
2 - Ambiguous non-disclosure. Glossing over important issues.
Presentation of Business Plan and Token Model

What stages are to be achieved, how are they to be carried out and according to what timeline, what is the long-term plan. How well thought-out is the token model and how well does it fit into the company's overall business model.

2.0
N/A
2 - Missing critical information; discussion is brief or very basic, or based on unfounded claims or promises.
Presentation of Platform Technology and Use of Blockchain

What are the platform's core and additional features, how are they to be implemented and according to what timeline, what is the long-term plan. How well thought-out is the use of blockchain technology and how integral is it to the platform.

2.0
N/A
2 - Missing critical information; discussion is brief or very basic, does not address the underlying issues.
Legal Review and Risk Assessment

How professional are the disclaimers, risk assessments, terms and conditions, etc. Is the company working with respectable law/accounting firms? What about due diligence and smart contract auditing? Is a SAFT structure being used (and is the SAFT accessible)?

3.0
N/A
3 - Semi-professional (e.g., includes standard disclaimer, terms and conditions, and risk factors).
Documentation Score:
2.8

Product

Differentiation: The platform aims to differentiate itself from other similar services by reducing the issue of conflict of interest. The organization provides a self-assessment that can be found on the MVP section of the company website. Platforms that wish to be listed on the platform will pay the same fee as all other projects. The scoring system is backed by specific assessments based on the information presented by the particular organization.

Readiness: Based on the fact sheet that can be found through the Alethena website, it is stated that “the first ratings will be released by mid of May 2018”. Two assessments can be found on the MVP section of the website, one of which is a self-assessment.

Concreteness of Development Plans: The following roadmap is presented in the whitepaper as follows: 2016 – Founders privately start investing in ICOs, notice the absence of proper due diligence and transparency Jan to April 2017 – Evaluation of project options and market analysis May to June 2017 – Based on early-stage due diligence factors founders participate in 10+ ICOs July 2017 – First prototype of own due diligence methodology is being developed Aug 2017 – Legal structure ‘Equility AG’ is set up and platform and ICO preparations begin Sept to Oct 2017 – White paper development; first discussions with CTO and analyst candidates Dec 2017 – Official go-live of Alethena Jan 2018 – Strategic partners and advisors join, private seed round closed Feb to March 2018 – Finalization of due diligence methodology v1.0 April to July 2018 – ICO to independently fund the development of product and methodology May to Nov 2018 – Further development of due diligence methodology with focus on technical analysis Dec 2018 – Release full product with v2.0 methodology; become top-of-mind Blockchain-Asset Rating in Europe 2019 – Enhance and scale methodology with machine learning and R&D department 2019 − 2020 – Release largely automated v3.0 product Overall milestones are included without obfuscation. Most milestones pertain to business developments.

Current Position within Roadmap: Most of the development thus far has been the conceptualization of the platform and the formation of the team. There are a few sample reports that are available through the “MVP” section after registering an account on the website. Voting mechanisms, increased in automated processes, and machine learning integration are yet to be developed.

Feasiblity: The service is fairly simple compared to most projects. However, the goal to become the “top-of-mind Blockchain-Asset” Rating organization in Europe by December 2018 is somewhat ambitious considering the the organization must develop a considerable user base from scratch as opposed to migrating users from an existing platform.

Blockchain Innovation: The platform does not provide value to other projects from a blockchain technology perspective.

Category Breakdown
Differentiation

What are the product's unique features / attributes / advantages? How is it different from other, similar products or projects? What makes it stand out or gives it an edge?

3.0
N/A
3 - Some; has a certain edge or angle.
Readiness

Readiness of the full platform, including blockchain/smart-contract/token infrastructure; based on what's publicly available (not just claims).

3.0
N/A
3 - Prototype / MVP / alpha of full product; Traditional platform exists, blockchain integration still in conceptualization.
Concreteness of Development Plans

How detailed is the roadmap? How well defined is the timeframe? How concrete and detailed are the milestones and how well are they correlated with the business and technology development plans, as well as with funding goals (i.e., fundraising dependent)?

3.0
N/A
3 - An overall plan, major milestones stated with some relevant details.
Current Position within Roadmap

How far along is the project as a whole relative to the plans and roadmap (including growth, not just platform development)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Critical obstacles ahead.
Feasiblity

Are the project's development plans reasonable? Does the long term vision align with core objectives and current development efforts? Does the timeframe make sense?

3.0
N/A
3 - Optimistic.
Blockchain Innovation

What is the level of innovation and development particularly with regard to blockchain technology and its utilization? Do the project's blockchain-related developments have value beyond the company's particular platform or network?

3.0
N/A
3 - Specific, platform-related automation via smart contract functionality.
Product Score:
2.8

Market

Target User Base: The platform is directed towards investors (both casual and experienced) of crypto-assets. Considering that the realm of crypto-assets is still quite small and the organization intends to target only a subset of individuals that are actively investing in ICOs, the demographic of the platform is somewhat niche.

Market Penetration Potential: There are a number of crypto-related due diligence services, some with very signifcant user bases. However, there are fewer platforms that provide full transparency and trust while ensuring that issues regarding conflict of interest are eliminated. The market for crypto-assets in general is fairly young and as a result, the platform has potential to gain market share, but a good strategy is required especially if the organization plans to complete with services with much larger followings.

Direct Competition: Competitors listed in the whitepaper include:
– ICOrating
– Crush Crypto

Other potential competitors include
– ICObench
– Crypto Briefing
– CryptoRated
– ICOreview
– TrackICO
– ICOholder
– ICOmarks
– Foxico
– ICObazaar
– Findico

Solution Advantage: Compared to other platform where potential investors may use to gain insight on crypto-related projects, Alethena has a competitive advantage by providing more in-depth insight and research into each project and provides transparent justification for the scoring of each project. Furthermore, token holders will receive dividends (although the details of this are unclear).

Blockchain Disruption: The platform is utilizing blockchain technology primarily as a means of funding. As a result, the creation of tokens for the purpose of generating funds for a due diligence service is not likely to cause signifcant disruption.

Long-Term Vision: Based on the roadmap, the organization plans to develop a mostly automated product that will utilize machine learning. These aspects of the platform are not discussed (even briefly) in the whitepaper, thus the long-term vision of the platform does not seem concrete. However, the organization aims to position itself as an company that will “enable long-term sustainable ICO investments”.

 

Category Breakdown
Target User Base

How big is the project's target user base, how large is its potential market?

2.0
N/A
2 - Small audience / niche market.
Market Penetration Potential

How easy or difficult will it be to penetrate this market sector on the scale proposed by the project? How dominant is the hold of current market leaders, and are they maintaining a competitive edge? For reviewers (not for tooltip): This should be generally with regard to both traditional and emerging blockchain solutions (assuming that in most sectors, there are no leading blockchain solutions as of yet, but there may start to be). Also, token regulatory issues that apply equally to all should not be stressed here, unless the project has an extra regulatory issue, or (in the other direction) if the regulatory measures taken help it considerably with market penetration...

3.0
N/A
3 - Moderate, a good strategy is essential.
Direct Competition

How many direct competitors does the project have (that are already known or can be easily found with a simple search), and how much further along are they? This should focus on blockchain-related competition but can include established or notable traditional (non-blockchain) competitors with a strong hold.

2.0
N/A
2 - Quite a few / somewhat better competitors (e.g., 7-10, some further ahead). Blockchain solutions are trendy in the sector.
Solution Advantage

How strong is the project's unique selling proposition (i.e., its stated advantage over similar or comparable ones)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Clear, evident.
Blockchain Disruption

How strong is the potential for disruption of the market sector due to the introduction of blockchain technology, as it is utilized by the solution?

1.0
N/A
1 - None / indeterminate.
Long-Term Vision

What are the long term goals and plans of the project? (In terms of concrete plans, not just hype or vague assertions.)

3.0
N/A
3 - Gain hold over a particular market segment, expand global outreach, possibly expand into other segments or sectors.
Market Score:
2.5

Company and Team

Company Stage and Foundation: Equility AG is a public limited company founded in August 2017 and registered in the Commercial Registry of the Canton of Zug (UID: CHE-460.255.304). It is stated that Alethena is the sole project of Equility AG and is subject to Swiss law. It is stated that the organization has completed a private pre-sale of CHF 500’000 (approximately $507K USD).

Team Assembly and Commitment: There are 14 core team members presented, along with 11 advisors on the company website. The core team consists of 4 co-founders, 2 individuals focused on technical development, 2 visual designers and the rest focused of business development. Based on the LinkedIn profiles of the 4 co-founders, all show involvement with the project and there are no uncertainties about their commitment to the project for these individuals. The software engineer does not disclose their affiliation with the organization and is concurrently involved with other projects.

Background of Lead/Core Team Members: The team is presented in the whitepaper with bio descriptions that are approximately 150 words in length for each team member. All team members provide a working link to the LinkedIn profile. The level of information presented on the LinkedIn profiles for many of the individuals that are focused on business development is lacking. Some lead team members do not provide sufficient information regarding the responsibilities of prior work experiences.

Relevance of Team’s Previous Experience and Skill Set: It is not clear that the team has individuals that have had prior experience with blockchain-related developments. However, the co-founders have prior experience in finance, more specifically with asset management, auditing, and market research.

Team Skill Set Balance (biz / tech / blockchain): The project does not particularly demand intensive blockchain-related expertise. Overall, when considering the scope of the project, the skill set balance seems sufficient since the organization will only have to set up a functional web page and appropriate (fairly simple) token contracts.

Strategic Partnerships: Partnerships are grouped together with organization memberships on the company website. The details of existing partnerships are not clearly presented. Some of the organizations listed on the company website include:

– https://www.wengervieli.ch
– https://papers.ch
– http://quantumsense.ai/
– http://www.uzh.ch
– www.clarity.pr
– https://blockchain.swisscom.com/
– https://overnice.de/
– https://icofactory.ch/
– https://cryptovalley.swiss/
– https://www.bitcoinassociation.ch/
– https://swissfinte.ch

There are quite a few partnerships/memberships listed, but meaningful affiliation with large-scale organizations is not evident.

 

Category Breakdown
Company Stage and Foundation

When was the company founded, how mature is it? Has it raised significant funds? Where relevant, this should address the parent company. For reviewers (not for tooltip): Check company LinkedIn and Crunchbase profiles. Impression summary should list basic information such as founding date, location/s, previous fundraising rounds (via crunchbase), maybe number of employees (via linkedin).

4.0
N/A
4 - Established with some fundraising history (at least one notable previous investment round).
Team Assembly and Commitment

What is the structure of the team (core members, advisers, contributors)? Are all necessary positions filled or is the company still looking for key team participants? Are the team members fully committed to the project (or involved with other projects simultaneously)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Sufficently assembled and committed.
Background of Lead/Core Team Members

Are LinkedIn (or Github, or other professional) profile links provided, and do they show involvement in the project and relevant previous experience? For reviewers (not for tooltip): If the team is quite large, C-level and certain key team members (such as lead tech/blockchain developers) should be looked at, while other than that, a sample is fine (but this should be mentioned or reflected in the language ["It appears as though..."]).

3.0
N/A
3 - Minimally sufficient.
Relevance of Team's Previous Experience and Skill Set

How relevant are the team members' backgrounds and experience to the project and its requirements? Do they come from related industries and have in-depth knowledge of their respective fields?

3.0
N/A
3 - Correlated to project requirements.
Team Skill Set Balance (biz / tech / blockchain)

Do the team members' backgrounds and experience appear to collectively cover the project requirements? This includes but is not limited to blockchain expertise.

4.0
N/A
4 - Good, sufficient for each aspect.
Strategic Partnerships

What kind of launch partners and early adopters does the project have?

3.0
N/A
3 - A few SMB's; may include founder or advisor related ventures but shows ability to expand beyond.
Company and Team Score:
3.5

Token Economics

Value Proposition of Token: It is stated that ATH tokens will have “limited voting and profit rights”. In the FAQ section of the website, it is also stated that token holders may receive dividends. However, the details of the dividends that token holders may receive are discussed with significantly low detail. The value ATH tokens are also derived from platform service fees.

Token Economy: The total token supply is not indicated due to the nature of the token offering (dynamic token generation). Some critical aspects, such as token allocation is obfuscated.

System Decentralization (besides token): It is stated that token holders will only have “limited voting rights” due to the fact that the board of directors of Equility AG has certain inalienable powers listed in Art. 698 para 2, Art. 716a, and Art. 706b of the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO). Upon closer investigation, the following powers listed in the Swiss Code of Obligations are not provided to token holders: Art. 698 para 2: 1. to determine and amend the articles of association; 2. to elect the members of the board of directors and the external auditors; 3. to approve the management report and the consolidated accounts; Art. 716a: 1. the overall management of the company and the issuing of all necessary directives; 2. determination of the company’s organisation; 3. the organisation of the accounting, financial control and financial planning systems as required for management of the company; 4. the appointment and dismissal of persons entrusted with managing and representing the company; 5. overall supervision of the persons entrusted with managing the company, in particular with regard to compliance with the law, articles of association, operational regulations and directives; 6. compilation of the annual report, preparation for the general meeting and implementation of its resolutions; 7. notification of the court in the event that the company is over-indebted. Art. 706b (resolutions of the general meeting are void if they): 1. remove or restrict the right to participate in the general meeting, the minimum voting right, the right to take legal action or other shareholder rights that are mandatory in law; 2. restrict the shareholders’ rights of control beyond the legally permissible degree, or 3. disregard the basic structures of the company limited by shares or the provisions on capital protection. As such, the system of governance outlined in a manner that suggests that complete decentralization is not a core value of the organization. However, token holders are given voting rights with respect to the profit that Equility AG chooses (based on the general meeting) to allocate to token holders in ETH (at the exchange rate specified by Equility AG).

Fundraising Goals (Min/Max Raise Amounts): In the FAQ section of the company website, the hard cap 30 million Swiss francs is attempted to be justified by stating that this valuation would allow for “quicker progression, increased scalability, and swift geographical expansion”. Specific financial assessments are not included. The justification is quite vague. Soft cap: 3 million Swiss francs (~$3.06 million USD) Hard cap: 30 million Swiss francs (~$30.6 million USD)

Use of Proceeds (Fund Allocation): The costs associated with operating the platform on a yearly basis is included in a chart which outlines six different ICO funding scenarios. Interim financial statements are also included in the information memorandum (translation required). The following criteria are assessed: – Salaries – Infrastructure – Communications & Marketing – Legal services – Operations

Token Allocation: The proposed token allocation presented by organization is fairly complex compared to most token offerings. The justification for using a dynamic token generation system is not discussed. The company will use a dynamic token generation system with the following pools: – A. Crowd – B. Early backers – C. ICO setup – D. Founders (20%) – E. Buffer (10%) The normal rate (no bonus) is set at 100 ATH = CHF 1 (Swiss franc). There is no clear distinction between the proportion of tokens allocated between pools A, B, and C. It is stated that the distinction between normal and early backers will be based on block height. However, when assessing the table included with the document, block heights of each pool are not clearly outlined. It is stated that the bonus structure will be “contingent on the current block height (the time dimension will be measured in terms of Ethereum block numbers and not in terms of e.g. days)”. However, this is contradictory to the information presented on the company website, which segregates the bonuses based on specific dates.

Category Breakdown
Value Proposition of Token

How much of a need is there for the token? What is the token's utility value, and what is its value as a security?

2.0
N/A
2 - Token issued primarily for fundraising purposes or network effect. Inherent value is minimal or contrived.
Token Economy

How well defined and sustainable is the token economy? This should include circulation, fees, earn/spend mechanisms, inflation/deflation mechanisms, etc.

2.0
N/A
2 - Loosely defined, uncertain or faulty, raises cause for concern.
System Decentralization (besides token)

How decentralized is the solution other than the token (e.g., data collection, storage, access, and use, or decision making processes, etc.)? The purpose here is not to penalize use of centralized components per se, but to assess how decentralization is incorporated.

1.0
N/A
1 - Essentially centralized without due consideration of the broader issue.
Fundraising Goals (Min/Max Raise Amounts)

How sensible are the project's min/max raise amounts or soft/hard caps? (Related to Use of Proceeds but broader).

2.0
N/A
2 - Somewhat greedy or unrelated to plans.
Use of Proceeds (Fund Allocation)

How well-defined and sensible is the planned use of proceeds / fund allocation?

5.0
N/A
5 - Carefully planned and fully transparent.
Token Allocation

How well-defined and reasonable is the token allocation (including vesting, what's done with unsold tokens, etc.)?

1.0
N/A
1 - Obfuscated, or giving company control of market value.
Token Economics Score:
2.2

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