Shping

Shping is a global shopper-marketing and brand protection platform that enables business to reward shoppers with cryptocurrency (Shping Coin) for their attention, actions and choices while they shop.

About Shping

Shping, created by Authenticateit Pty Ltd., aims to revolutionize the shopping experience by making it smarter, safer, and more rewarding, through the integration of blockchain technology. At the core of the Shping Platform is the Global Product Database, which will benefit companies by supplying valuable information about their customers, including behavior and engagement analytics. Consumers will benefit from having the ability to scan products using the Shping app, and gain quick access to reviews, certifications, warranty specifications, and other information that would assist them with making more informed purchases. Companies and brands will be able to use Shping to communicate directly with consumers and allow them to be rewarded for engagement, rather than paying media outlets for marketing campaigns.

Token Sale Use of Blockchain

Product

4.0
Product
Readiness

Is the product ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

4.0
N/A
4 - Beta or initial rollout.
Appeal

How appealing is the product? How good or necessary is it? Does it have a distinct edge?

3.0
N/A
3 - Interesting.
Target User Base

Is it mass market or niche?

5.0
N/A
5 - General audience / mass market.
Competition

Are there many other similar solutions or is this one of just a few, or even one of a kind?

4.0
N/A
4 - Few competitors / a leading solution.
Innovation

How innovative or inventive is the product, either conceptually or technologically?

4.0
N/A
4 - Original, specialized.

Product

Shping wishes to revolutionize the retail industry, an ambitious goal with a vast target user base. However, Shping will face many competitors that are actively attempting to dominate this market. Shping wishes to integrate multiple aspects of the shopping experience and incorporate them into one platform (authentication, traceability of products, consumers data collection, and brand/consumer engagement). Few projects encompass as many aspects of the shopping experience as Shping; however, the company will face competitors with a more narrow focus. For example, some organizations, such as WABI, are currently developing a traceability mechanism for consumers using blockchain technology. But with respect to direct competitors, Shping states that it “is the first of its kind – it combines industry-standards based product traceability (GS1 EPCIS), brand protection and authentication features with a shopper marketing component to deliver a hybrid product search engine and rewards program for in-store shoppers”. There is a thorough discussion in the Q&A section regarding Shping and how the organization compares to competitors.

Product Whitepaper

Use of Blockchain

2.6
Use of Blockchain
Blockchain Development

Is blockchain technology essential? Does it make the solution significantly different and better?

3.0
N/A
3 - Automation; making something easier to do.
Disruptive Blockchain Advantage

How disruptive is the introduction of blockchain technology into the product's market space?

3.0
N/A
3 - Potentially disruptive.
Need for a Custom Token (vs. BTC or ETH)

Is the token essential or could it be done just as well or better with fiat or Bitcoin?

2.0
N/A
2 - Some, mainly network effect.
System Decentralization (besides token)

How decentralized is the system architecture other than the token (e.g., data collection, storage, access, and use, or decision making processes, etc.)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Centralized with some plans to decentralize.
Contribution to Blockchain Ecosystem

How compelling is the solution's contribution to the evolution of blockchain infrastructure and economy?

3.0
N/A
3 - Interesting.

Use of Blockchain

SHPING follows the ERC20 token protocol. There is a potential for disruption in the retail market industry, as the overall shopping experience for the average consumer has been stagnant for several years and has yet to see revolutionary change. Although the platform itself has potential, there is not a significant need for a custom token. The token acts mostly as an investment towards the Shping Platform. For brands and companies wishing to use the Shping Platform to engage with consumers, the SHPING token will be used in exchange for services on the platform, such as running campaigns using the Shping Marketing Module. Consumers will be rewarded with SHPING for writing reviews or comments, taking pictures, and otherwise engaging with brands. It should be noted that the whitepaper states that “neither Authenticateit nor Shping Co makes any warranties as to whether the Shping coin may be listed on any cryptocurrency exchange”. Although this statement may simply act as a precautionary measure and risk aversion strategy for the organization, the value proposition of the token will be significantly diminished if this is the case, especially from the consumer’s perspective.

Use of Blockchain Roadmap

Whitepaper

4.2
Whitepaper
Comprehensiveness

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

4.0
N/A
4 - Satisfactory coverage, well written.
Readability

Is it easy enough to understand?

5.0
N/A
5 - Crystal clear. Enjoyable.
Transparency

Does it candidly describe and disclose where the project now stands, how much exists and how much still needs to be done, etc.?

4.0
N/A
4 - Informative disclosure.
Business Plan Presentation

Does it contain a viable, comprehensive business plan?

4.0
N/A
4 - Clear, well thought out, realistic.
Technology Presentation

Does it present a well thought out technological architecture? Does it address implementational challenges?

4.0
N/A
4 - Clear, well thought out, realistic.

Whitepaper

The Shping whitepaper is relatively comprehensive, and has a fair balance between discussing the benefits of the platform for stakeholders and the value proposition and technological details for investors. It is easy to read and not obscured by technical jargon. The whitepaper breaks down the value proposition of the token and the platform from the perspective of the consumer, brands, retailers, and the industry as a whole. Overall the whitepaper is well balanced in terms of comprehensiveness and readability.

Whitepaper Compliance

Roadmap

3.0
Roadmap
Concreteness

Is there a concrete and practical development plan (vs. just a conceptual vision)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Down to earth.
Feasibility

Is the development plan realistic? Is it based on reasonable goals and timelines?

3.0
N/A
3 - Optimistic.
Vision

Is there a larger, long-term vision?

3.0
N/A
3 - A trend with potential.
Dependencies (services or capabilities)

How available, operational, or trusted are the other systems or capabilities on which the project relies?

3.0
N/A
3 - Imperfect but available, or using substitutes.
Current Position

Where is the project now, relative to its vision and plans?

2.0
N/A
2 - Critical obstacles ahead.

Roadmap

The roadmap presented in the Shping whitepaper is focused on business-related milestones as opposed to technological goals. This is understandable considering that Shping’s greatest challenge is widespread adoption, and not necessarily any particular technological obstacle. Currently, Shping has four offices located in Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing and Moscow. Further international expansion is planned from Q1 2018 to Q1 2010. The beta version of the platform was released on June 30th, 2017. Currently, Shping is already generating revenue (fiscal value is not disclosed in the whitepaper) and has 24 brand partners. The Shping app is currently available for IOS and Android devices.

Roadmap Company and Team

Compliance

2.6
Compliance
Token Utility (value through usage)

How much use is there for the token itself (regardless of its value as an investment vehicle)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Distinctive use cases.
Token as Security (tradable instrument)

How valuable is the token as an investment vehicle or financial instrument?

3.0
N/A
3 - Partly; compliance not fully assured.
Token/Smart-Contract Readiness

Is the blockchain infrastructure of the project ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

2.0
N/A
2 - Proof of concept or test platform.
Attention to Compliance Issues

How much attention is given to compliance (via token and ecosystem design, token sale participation, etc.)? Is this issue addressed directly and coherently?

2.0
N/A
2 - Minimal, superficial or hackneyed.
Legal Review/Risk Assessment

What kind of legal documentation (reviews or agreements) and risk assessment are provided?

2.0
N/A
2 - Insufficient or unprofessional.

Compliance

It is noticeable that Shping uses an icon (the letter “s” imprinted on a shopping bag) on its website and whitepaper, which bears a stark resemblance to the Shopify logo. Due to the significant overlap of the two organizations’ target user base demographic, Shping may be at risk of trademark infringement. For the development of the Shping database, the team intends to rely on validated data sources such as the GS1 and to partner with Everledger (a digital immutable global ledger that tracks high value assets). The token has intrinsic value, as it is used by brands/companies for services on the Shping platform. However, value to consumers will be dependent on whether the SHPING token can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges (which is not guaranteed according to the Shping whitepaper).

Compliance Token Sale

Company and Team

3.6
Company and Team
Company Stage and Foundation

Is the company already established? Has it raised funds before? Is it mature?

3.0
N/A
3 - Company structure in place.
Background of Lead Team Members

Do we know who they are? Do they have LinkedIn profiles? Do they have solid, relevant backgrounds?

4.0
N/A
4 - Verifiable relevant experience.
Team Assembly and Commitment

Is a solid, fully committed core team in place? Do they have online (e.g. LinkedIn) profiles showing sufficient relevant experience? Is their participation transparent?

3.0
N/A
3 - Mostly assembled and committed.
Team Skill Set Relevance

Does the amount of talent and skill in each area seem to fit the project requirements?

4.0
N/A
4 - Well suited to project requirements.
Team Skill Set Balance

Is the team well-rounded (biz/tech/blockchain)? Is there sufficient talent and skill in all areas of required development?

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

Company and Team

The Shping team, comprised of 15 to 20 individuals, has a fair balance between business and technology oriented professionals. The development team has seemingly proficient developers, however, few individuals have had experience with blockchain technology and smart contracts outside of their experience working with Shping. There seems to be an intention to include links to all of the team members’ LinkedIn accounts, as there is an icon in each of the profiles, but the icons are not clickable. A manual search of a small sample size, however, shows that members can be found on LinkedIn and their professional experience matches up with the descriptions written in the whitepaper.

Company and Team Product

Token Sale

2.4
Token Sale
Raise Amount Max

Is there a clear cap? Is the maximum raise amount modestly sufficient (as opposed to either greedy or insufficient)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Somewhat greedy or unrelated to plans.
Raise Amount Min

Is the minimum raise reasonable considering the development plan? Are there raise-amount dependent milestones?

1.0
N/A
1 - None or nonsensical.
Fund Allocation

Is fund distribution and allocation reasonable and justified?

3.0
N/A
3 - Rough estimates, but sensible.
Token Allocation

Is the ratio of tokens sold to those kept reasonable? Does it prevent the company from having too much control?

3.0
N/A
3 - Sufficient company/community interest balance.
Media Presence and Following

Is the sale being talked about in Reddit, Bitcointalk, Social Media, Medium, etc.? Is information available and accessible? Is there interest?

3.0
N/A
3 - Some presence, lukewarm reception.

Token Sale

The total token supply is 10 billion tokens: 50% available during the token sale, 1% for bounties, 5% for the advisors, 2% for the team, and 42% for the Shping App Incentive Reserve (which is used for expansion and adoption of the platform). Unsold tokens during the crowdsale will be added to the reserve. The minimum token purchase is 1000, where the initial rate is 1 SHPING token = $0.01 USD. Although there was a hardcap specified for the presale ($3MM USD), neither a hard cap nor a soft cap for the crowdsale are stated in the whitepaper at the time of writing this review; however, the Q&A reveals that the hard cap will be approximately $37MM USD. There are different uses of funds for different funding levels, but the allocation is not provided (there is simply a list of items presented for various funding levels). The crowdsale begins on February 22, 2018 and ends on March 23, 2018.

Product

Shping wishes to revolutionize the retail industry, an ambitious goal with a vast target user base. However, Shping will face many competitors that are actively attempting to dominate this market. Shping wishes to integrate multiple aspects of the shopping experience and incorporate them into one platform (authentication, traceability of products, consumers data collection, and brand/consumer engagement). Few projects encompass as many aspects of the shopping experience as Shping; however, the company will face competitors with a more narrow focus. For example, some organizations, such as WABI, are currently developing a traceability mechanism for consumers using blockchain technology. But with respect to direct competitors, Shping states that it “is the first of its kind – it combines industry-standards based product traceability (GS1 EPCIS), brand protection and authentication features with a shopper marketing component to deliver a hybrid product search engine and rewards program for in-store shoppers”. There is a thorough discussion in the Q&A section regarding Shping and how the organization compares to competitors.

Category Breakdown
Readiness

Is the product ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

4.0
N/A
4 - Beta or initial rollout.
Appeal

How appealing is the product? How good or necessary is it? Does it have a distinct edge?

3.0
N/A
3 - Interesting.
Target User Base

Is it mass market or niche?

5.0
N/A
5 - General audience / mass market.
Competition

Are there many other similar solutions or is this one of just a few, or even one of a kind?

4.0
N/A
4 - Few competitors / a leading solution.
Innovation

How innovative or inventive is the product, either conceptually or technologically?

4.0
N/A
4 - Original, specialized.
Product Score:
4.0

Use of Blockchain

SHPING follows the ERC20 token protocol. There is a potential for disruption in the retail market industry, as the overall shopping experience for the average consumer has been stagnant for several years and has yet to see revolutionary change. Although the platform itself has potential, there is not a significant need for a custom token. The token acts mostly as an investment towards the Shping Platform. For brands and companies wishing to use the Shping Platform to engage with consumers, the SHPING token will be used in exchange for services on the platform, such as running campaigns using the Shping Marketing Module. Consumers will be rewarded with SHPING for writing reviews or comments, taking pictures, and otherwise engaging with brands. It should be noted that the whitepaper states that “neither Authenticateit nor Shping Co makes any warranties as to whether the Shping coin may be listed on any cryptocurrency exchange”. Although this statement may simply act as a precautionary measure and risk aversion strategy for the organization, the value proposition of the token will be significantly diminished if this is the case, especially from the consumer’s perspective.

Category Breakdown
Blockchain Development

Is blockchain technology essential? Does it make the solution significantly different and better?

3.0
N/A
3 - Automation; making something easier to do.
Disruptive Blockchain Advantage

How disruptive is the introduction of blockchain technology into the product's market space?

3.0
N/A
3 - Potentially disruptive.
Need for a Custom Token (vs. BTC or ETH)

Is the token essential or could it be done just as well or better with fiat or Bitcoin?

2.0
N/A
2 - Some, mainly network effect.
System Decentralization (besides token)

How decentralized is the system architecture other than the token (e.g., data collection, storage, access, and use, or decision making processes, etc.)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Centralized with some plans to decentralize.
Contribution to Blockchain Ecosystem

How compelling is the solution's contribution to the evolution of blockchain infrastructure and economy?

3.0
N/A
3 - Interesting.
Use of Blockchain Score:
2.6

Whitepaper

The Shping whitepaper is relatively comprehensive, and has a fair balance between discussing the benefits of the platform for stakeholders and the value proposition and technological details for investors. It is easy to read and not obscured by technical jargon. The whitepaper breaks down the value proposition of the token and the platform from the perspective of the consumer, brands, retailers, and the industry as a whole. Overall the whitepaper is well balanced in terms of comprehensiveness and readability.

Category Breakdown
Comprehensiveness

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

4.0
N/A
4 - Satisfactory coverage, well written.
Readability

Is it easy enough to understand?

5.0
N/A
5 - Crystal clear. Enjoyable.
Transparency

Does it candidly describe and disclose where the project now stands, how much exists and how much still needs to be done, etc.?

4.0
N/A
4 - Informative disclosure.
Business Plan Presentation

Does it contain a viable, comprehensive business plan?

4.0
N/A
4 - Clear, well thought out, realistic.
Technology Presentation

Does it present a well thought out technological architecture? Does it address implementational challenges?

4.0
N/A
4 - Clear, well thought out, realistic.
Whitepaper Score:
4.2

Roadmap

The roadmap presented in the Shping whitepaper is focused on business-related milestones as opposed to technological goals. This is understandable considering that Shping’s greatest challenge is widespread adoption, and not necessarily any particular technological obstacle. Currently, Shping has four offices located in Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing and Moscow. Further international expansion is planned from Q1 2018 to Q1 2010. The beta version of the platform was released on June 30th, 2017. Currently, Shping is already generating revenue (fiscal value is not disclosed in the whitepaper) and has 24 brand partners. The Shping app is currently available for IOS and Android devices.

Category Breakdown
Concreteness

Is there a concrete and practical development plan (vs. just a conceptual vision)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Down to earth.
Feasibility

Is the development plan realistic? Is it based on reasonable goals and timelines?

3.0
N/A
3 - Optimistic.
Vision

Is there a larger, long-term vision?

3.0
N/A
3 - A trend with potential.
Dependencies (services or capabilities)

How available, operational, or trusted are the other systems or capabilities on which the project relies?

3.0
N/A
3 - Imperfect but available, or using substitutes.
Current Position

Where is the project now, relative to its vision and plans?

2.0
N/A
2 - Critical obstacles ahead.
Roadmap Score:
3.0

Compliance

It is noticeable that Shping uses an icon (the letter “s” imprinted on a shopping bag) on its website and whitepaper, which bears a stark resemblance to the Shopify logo. Due to the significant overlap of the two organizations’ target user base demographic, Shping may be at risk of trademark infringement. For the development of the Shping database, the team intends to rely on validated data sources such as the GS1 and to partner with Everledger (a digital immutable global ledger that tracks high value assets). The token has intrinsic value, as it is used by brands/companies for services on the Shping platform. However, value to consumers will be dependent on whether the SHPING token can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges (which is not guaranteed according to the Shping whitepaper).

Category Breakdown
Token Utility (value through usage)

How much use is there for the token itself (regardless of its value as an investment vehicle)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Distinctive use cases.
Token as Security (tradable instrument)

How valuable is the token as an investment vehicle or financial instrument?

3.0
N/A
3 - Partly; compliance not fully assured.
Token/Smart-Contract Readiness

Is the blockchain infrastructure of the project ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

2.0
N/A
2 - Proof of concept or test platform.
Attention to Compliance Issues

How much attention is given to compliance (via token and ecosystem design, token sale participation, etc.)? Is this issue addressed directly and coherently?

2.0
N/A
2 - Minimal, superficial or hackneyed.
Legal Review/Risk Assessment

What kind of legal documentation (reviews or agreements) and risk assessment are provided?

2.0
N/A
2 - Insufficient or unprofessional.
Compliance Score:
2.6

Company and Team

The Shping team, comprised of 15 to 20 individuals, has a fair balance between business and technology oriented professionals. The development team has seemingly proficient developers, however, few individuals have had experience with blockchain technology and smart contracts outside of their experience working with Shping. There seems to be an intention to include links to all of the team members’ LinkedIn accounts, as there is an icon in each of the profiles, but the icons are not clickable. A manual search of a small sample size, however, shows that members can be found on LinkedIn and their professional experience matches up with the descriptions written in the whitepaper.

Category Breakdown
Company Stage and Foundation

Is the company already established? Has it raised funds before? Is it mature?

3.0
N/A
3 - Company structure in place.
Background of Lead Team Members

Do we know who they are? Do they have LinkedIn profiles? Do they have solid, relevant backgrounds?

4.0
N/A
4 - Verifiable relevant experience.
Team Assembly and Commitment

Is a solid, fully committed core team in place? Do they have online (e.g. LinkedIn) profiles showing sufficient relevant experience? Is their participation transparent?

3.0
N/A
3 - Mostly assembled and committed.
Team Skill Set Relevance

Does the amount of talent and skill in each area seem to fit the project requirements?

4.0
N/A
4 - Well suited to project requirements.
Team Skill Set Balance

Is the team well-rounded (biz/tech/blockchain)? Is there sufficient talent and skill in all areas of required development?

4.0
N/A
4 - Good, sufficient for each aspect.
Company and Team Score:
3.6

Token Sale

The total token supply is 10 billion tokens: 50% available during the token sale, 1% for bounties, 5% for the advisors, 2% for the team, and 42% for the Shping App Incentive Reserve (which is used for expansion and adoption of the platform). Unsold tokens during the crowdsale will be added to the reserve. The minimum token purchase is 1000, where the initial rate is 1 SHPING token = $0.01 USD. Although there was a hardcap specified for the presale ($3MM USD), neither a hard cap nor a soft cap for the crowdsale are stated in the whitepaper at the time of writing this review; however, the Q&A reveals that the hard cap will be approximately $37MM USD. There are different uses of funds for different funding levels, but the allocation is not provided (there is simply a list of items presented for various funding levels). The crowdsale begins on February 22, 2018 and ends on March 23, 2018.

Category Breakdown
Raise Amount Max

Is there a clear cap? Is the maximum raise amount modestly sufficient (as opposed to either greedy or insufficient)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Somewhat greedy or unrelated to plans.
Raise Amount Min

Is the minimum raise reasonable considering the development plan? Are there raise-amount dependent milestones?

1.0
N/A
1 - None or nonsensical.
Fund Allocation

Is fund distribution and allocation reasonable and justified?

3.0
N/A
3 - Rough estimates, but sensible.
Token Allocation

Is the ratio of tokens sold to those kept reasonable? Does it prevent the company from having too much control?

3.0
N/A
3 - Sufficient company/community interest balance.
Media Presence and Following

Is the sale being talked about in Reddit, Bitcointalk, Social Media, Medium, etc.? Is information available and accessible? Is there interest?

3.0
N/A
3 - Some presence, lukewarm reception.
Token Sale Score:
2.4
Does the Shping mobile application currently operate and keep track of tokens using blockchain technology? Currently, users are able to earn tokens and it is stated that users will users will “soon be able to exchange [their] Shping Coins for local currency or other cryptocurrency”. Will users be able to send Shping tokens from the mobile application in the future?

The mobile application tracks tokens in the following way:

1 – A participating brand creates a campaign through Shping with a budgeted amount of Shping Coins.

2 – The budgeted coins are then locked for distribution through the Shping smart contract. 

3 – All coins collected during the campaign are stored in the Transition account.

 4 – At the end of each month, or at the end of a campaign, the brand’s coins are moved to the transition account too.

5 – Once acquired and at the conclusion of the Token Sale, users will have the ability to move earned coins from the transition account to their personal Ethereum account. We are also working towards making this available through the mobile application with an API that links directly into the exchange.

Users are required to sign up in order to keep their tokens that they have earned. How does Shping view anonymity with regards to the platform and will users be able to earn tokens anonymously? Should users expect that the data associated with their profile profile will be sold to third parties?

Shping is a marketing and consumer engagement platform. By its very nature, this means that users will need to contribute personal information to enable the marketing to be more relevant to them, and this will have a direct impact on the types of rewards they are able to earn. This may include details such as name, age, location, contact details and usage behaviours.  For example, if a user scans a product today, a brand might send out a Shout Out through to you in a few weeks to see what you thought of the product and maybe ask you for  a review and they may use the data to address the communication more personally.

Nonetheless, consumers have control of how much data they wish to share about themselves and with others and retain ownership of their data at all times. Participants who download and use the Shping App, grant Shping a perpetual, transferable and royalty-free license to use their data so that we may serve the user better. If a user chooses to close their account, their data is removed from the platform.  

Our intention is to serve experiences that directly relate to a user’s experiences and actions, so there should be little in the way of surprises when it comes to the type of material the App serves to users.

What is the monetary soft/hard cap of the public token sale?

We’re aiming to sell 5 billion Shping Coins. When taking into account the generous bonuses on offer, the amount we can possibly raise during the token sale is approximately US$37 million.

It is stated that 42% of the total token allocation is for the “Shping App Incentive Reserve” and that this will “incentivize the expansion and adoption of the Shping App amongst users”. Can you elaborate on this and give a more specific, quantitative breakdown for the incentive reserve?

Our research has shown that 70% of consumers are prepared to use reward Apps if it will give them a tangible stream of rewards. The Shping App has been designed in this way, enabling participating brands and businesses to reward users for learning more about their products. Furthermore, we’ve gamefied the experience to encourage accumulating rewards to leveling up, adding buddies, and for frequent use to ensure the App’s stickiness and virality.

As the Shping Platform operates on the promise of a tangible stream of rewards, Shping currently rewards users with Coins from the Shping App Incentive Reserve while we onboard more brands to the platform. That means if a consumer scans a bottle of branded soft-drink that has not yet signed up to be a brand partner, Shping will reward the consumers with Reserve Coins. When enough users scan the same product, Shping can bring this to the attention of the Brand who may realize the benefit of the platform to reach their fan base and reward them further for taking surveys, posting reviews and so on.

At the time of the Token Sale, 42% of the total distribution of Shping Coins has been allocated to the Shping App Incentive Reserve. Any unsold tokens will also be moved to the Shping App Incentive Reserve at the conclusion of the Token Sale. These Reserve Coins can only be acquired through onboarding new users, scanning barcodes, submitting reviews and adding missing data about products where a brand has not yet come on board. As it will take several years for users to deplete the Reserve, the impact on the price of purchased tokens is negligible. In many ways its similar to having these coins “mined” by shoppers using the Shping App.  

As there is a finite amount of 10 billion Shping Coins minted, once the Shping App Incentive Reserve is depleted, Shping will be among many other businesses seeking to acquire Shping Coins through the open market to continue to reward Shping App users.

Does Shping have a dynamic allocation of funds according to different levels of funding? For example, is the allocation of funds the same for a soft cap level of funding compared to the allocation of funds if the hard cap were to be reached?

We have set out a roadmap that proposes each milestone of funding and what we hope to accomplish with those funds on page 34-37 of our whitepaper.  A condensed version also appears on the website.

Please note that we are also an operational product. As such, our expectation is that at least 50% of our funds will be directed towards business development and generating consumer adoption, but that may scale differently depending on the funding milestones achieved and the level of partner brand interest generated when we commence our program.

What governance structure is in place to ensure that reviews are honest and not discreetly sponsored? If a voting mechanism is planned to be used, what steps are Shping taking to ensure that vote manipulation does not become a problem?

All reviews are manually approved by our QA team based on a points system to determine the appropriate reward. We also have system protocols in place to identify anomalies and unusual patterns of participation which have been improved and refined throughout our beta period. The Shping App license agreement also has a clawback clause for Coins acquired through fraudulent or automated means.

Does Shping plan to migrate to a different blockchain architecture in the future?

While we can’t see any strong reason for this to happen, there’s always the possibility if something fitting and better comes along.

Who is responsible for leading the development of smart contracts/blockchain? Is Shping his/her first major endeavour related to blockchain technology? The professional experience of the CTO and senior developer shown on LinkedIn indicates that this seems to be the case.

Our CTO, Andrei Kucherov is responsible for smart contracts and the development of blockchain in conjunction with GS1 and Everledger. A software developer with over 20 years experience, Andrei has worked in Russia, USA and Australia. As CTO of Shping (formerly Authenticateit) since 2012, Andrei has been evaluating, monitoring and testing abilities to use blockchain technology since the company was formed and is about to commence formal certification for his expertise. This is the first blockchain project for our experienced Senior Developer.

What is the primary purpose of increasing the number of international offices as the platform develops? Does the platform require a significant amount of manpower in order to scale? Is there a breakdown of the expected increase in expenditure with regards to capital and operational costs of increasing the number of offices and employees? How does this impact Shping with respect to decentralization?

While we do not anticipate that our operations require a significant amount of manpower to scale. Our expansion plans will involve setting up offices where there is a concentration of clients who wish to have local representation to support their Shping Marketing and/or Shping Security projects. Shping has offices in Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing and Moscow to enable ease of access to our clients.  

For example, while Shping Marketing is largely self-service, the business will require regional representation for local area marketing and business development initiatives.  For more complex integration projects through Shping Security, we may deploy project managers to support clients through onboarding and transition.  

Who are your largest competitors and how does Shping compare?

Shping is the first of its kind  – it combines industry-standards based product traceability (GS1 EPCIS), brand protection and authentication features with a shopper marketing component to deliver a hybrid product search engine and rewards program for in-store shoppers. While it has no direct competitors, Shping has a few challengers in its periphery, which we believe, do not deliver as thorough a solution.

For traceability, authentication and brand protection, Shping’s solution is built upon industry standards (e.g GS1 product barcodes and datamatrices), which gives Shping a significant advantage over like-minded players who use QR codes or more expensive RFID technology.

QR code-based systems are inadequate alternatives as they can be easily counterfeited or replaced to direct users to clone websites and phishing sites.  RFID technology, on the other hand, can be very costly for businesses to implement and to scale globally once you consider the cost of integrating tech, labels and educating the market about what to look for and how to use the technology. As such you might see use cases for a specific group of products such as baby formula for a specific market such as a region in China, which makes it incredibly slow to scale. .

In contrast, the Shping platform uses already adopted global industry standards – GS1 product barcodes and datamatrices which enables ANY BRAND, ANY WHERE to adopt our platform and be up and running in much less time. The Shping platform can also use GS1-ready RFID labels if brands wish to use this  technology – however, as our solution can already effectively manages brand protection we do not see much advantage.

On the shopper and reward front, while we have often wrongly been compared to price-comparison apps, the criticism of these technologies is that they are  designed to delay users from purchasing on the spot, and they foster a culture of showrooming, which can be a time-waster for retailers.

Shping’s utility is fundamentally different, acting more like a mobile product search engine that aggregates information from trusted sources that helps shoppers make a decision to buy a product there and then.

As in-store marketing is currently limited to static point-of-sale displays and packaging, Shping will become a dynamic new marketing tool for product marketers to send out timely, relevant and wanted communications to influence sales. The utility of the app also extends beyond purchase to trigger warranty registrations, shout outs, and even post-purchase product recalls if something should happen down the track.  

The final aspect of our system is that we are enabling brands to set the reward value and pay the shopper directly for their actions, intentions and loyalty.

Many people have compared us to loyalty programs, but we see Shping as being more of a complement rather than a competitor. Where loyalty programs reward shoppers for purchases, Shping rewards shoppers for the attention and actions leading to purchase, and beyond.

In fact, when you consider that Shping’s Global Product Database model is built on integrating data-sources from trusted sources, the company could very well be adding some of these “competitors” as strategic partners some day.

Would the fundamental concept of Shping as a platform be possible with the use of Ether instead of Shping tokens?

Theoretically it is possible to use any token to run any rewards-based program, however Shping Coin has been built with specific properties that lock a brand’s coins once they have been committed to a Shping campaign to ensure that the rewards being promised are deliverable.

What are the largest regulatory obstacles that Shping faces and what steps has Shping taken in order to address them?

Although excluded from the Token Sale, China’s recent ban on cryptocurrency has meant we have had to reshape the rewards-incentive system for this market. More details on this will come about soon.

Online shopping has become increasingly popular in the last several years, and is the preferred way to shop by many. Does Shping have plans to compete/integrate with online retailers? If so, please elaborate.

According to the Worldwide Retail ECommerce Sales Forecast prepared by eMarketer, online shopping represents only 10.2% of overall shopping experiences in 2017. This means that the vast majority of shopping instances still occur in a retail environments, and for good reason – many people still prefer the instant gratification, spontaneous, social and tangible aspects of picking up a product, evaluating it, seeing if it fits and walking out of a store with a purchase.

Our App may have its prime utility in the pre-purchase, but many of its features are centered around post-purchase behaviors which make it suitable for ecommerce applications also. Reviews, completing surveys, filling warranties  and so on – there are a plethora of benefits where the App has applications for an eCommerce buyer. We have also developed a prototype for authenticating products online, which if the demand is there, we may also consider bringing into the Shping ecosystem.

Are there partnerships with retailers that have agreed to integrate the Shping platform with their store?

The Shping Retail Module is still in development but we expect it to be launched later this year.

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