Confideal aims to provide a complete set of tools for creating, maintaining, and fulfilling agreements via smart contracts, and to make the process easy and accessible to everyone. Confideal is developing a visual, easy-to-use smart contract builder that enables users with no programming skills to create Ethereum smart contracts for different types of transactions. Confideal differentiates itself from other solutions that offer simplified smart contract creation interfaces (such as Etherparty or Agrello) by offering a built-in arbitration module, with an arbitrator rating system, for dispute resolution, so as to make the platform particularly suited to international deals.
Confideal’s service allows users to resolve disputes within the platform via mediation and arbitration by qualified specialists (legal or professional), who are incentivized by a fee of up to 10% of the contract’s sum. Arbitrator candidates are allowed to use the platform after submitting the necessary documents to confirm their status and being approved by Confideal. Arbitrators’ accounts on the platform contain relevant information such as languages, location, specialization, working experience etc. The arbitrator for any particular deal is selected by both sides of the contract during its setup, before the actual signing. At the moment, it is only possible to select only one arbitrator per deal, but the company plans to make it possible to select several arbitrators per deal.
Confideal arbitration is divided into two separate modules: arbitration and mediation. In arbitration, arbitrators’ decisions have a legal basis and can be used in courts of law. Arbitration on Confideal conforms to national laws and the UNCITRAL international arbitration regulations. Typically, reaching a resolution with arbitration takes some time due to the involvement of national courts. In mediation, a third party is selected to settle the dispute, make a decision and enforce it. Mediation is easier to use and takes less time than arbitration, since the decision is enforced within the Confideal platform, and is therefore set as the default option.
In order to ensure a high level of arbitration services, the Confideal platform includes a rating system for arbitrators. Each arbitrator’s total rating is determined by both objective factors (70% of rating) and subjective factors (30% of rating). Objective factors include speed of response, the number of settled disputes, and the completeness of disclosed information about self. Subjective factors include votes given to the arbitrator by CDL token holders. Another evaluation mechanism, available to all Confideal users (not just token holders), is the ability to “like” or “dislike” an arbitrator – this does not affect the arbitrator’s rating, but provides an additional measure of quality and serves as an indicator of rating manipulation.
Confideal’s ERC20 token CDL is the main internal cryptocurrency used for payments in the Confideal ecosystem, along with ETH. (A number of other cryptocurrencies are planned to be supported in the future.) Since Confideal runs on the Ethereum blockchain, the platform’s current alpha version can be accessed via the Parity and Mist browsers or the Google Chrome extension MetaMask; and regardless of the currency being used for the transaction, participants need to have ETH for transaction fees. Currently, only the data necessary to fulfill the contract (logical terms, money sums, and dates) is stored on the blockchain, along with a hash of the file containing the rest of the contract information. In the future, the company plans to allow integration of external data (such as shipping container tracking) so as to simplify the process of monitoring the deal.
Payments between counterparties made on the platform with CDL carry no fees, whereas those made with other cryptocurrencies carry a 1% fee. The fees thus accumulated will be stored by the company and provide a fund for buying back CDL tokens as an exchange option – the tokens will be exchanged in a 1 to 1.5 ratio in USD equivalent. CDL tokens also enable their holders to rate arbitrators, with 10 CDL providing the equivalent of 1 vote.
Confideal was founded in late 2016, is based in Cork, Ireland, and has successfully raised 650,000 USD in its pre-ICO (the goal was 600,000 USD). According to the company’s website, the core team is comprised of co-founders Petr Belousov (CEO) and Andrei Baibaratsky (CTO), along with twelve professionals and eleven advisors. The company appears to be working closely with the Byzantium ICO Agency: the agency’s founder and managing partner Maxim Uperyaka, along with six agency employees, are listed on the website’s team section, and most (including Uperyaka) do not list Confideal on their LinkedIn profiles. There is some difficulty assessing the team’s level and mix of skill and expertise, as well as their level of commitment to the project, but they do consider themselves to be “a community of blockchain enthusiasts”, and they do have a working MVP with 24/7 customer support via Intercom as well as public Telegram chats in English, Russian and Chinese.
* On a side note – see this review here explaining how to use Confideal’s platform to set up and manage ICO investments ahead of time.