In-Depth Review

  • Valorem Foundation

  • We’re building a reserve lending platform for multi-party transactions across multiple industries.
  • 2.3

About Valorem Foundation

Valorem Foundation is developing a transaction platform which sets out to give users accessibility to loans, investments, crowdfunding, insurance, commerce, and charity using decentralized blockchain technology. Valorem Foundation (advalorem.io) should not be confused with Valorem (www.valorem.com), an unrelated organization. The VLR token uses the ERC20 token standard with Zerocoin Protocol. Valorem Foundation hopes to build a trusted decentralized platform which will appreciate the value of VLR for token holders as the transaction platform matures and continues to develop.

Team

Crowdsale Details

Project Highlights

Ratings

2.6
Product

Product

Valorem is currently at the early developmental stages of the project. As with most ICOs, Valorem is currently focused on increasing adoption of the platform. The technological barriers that Valorem faces are minor compared to the regulatory obstacles that Valorem must address before the platform has a chance of seeing widespread adoption. The particular sector that Valorem wishes to enter is also very competitive. Many startup companies are currently attempting to establish themselves in this area, and competition will only increase as trusted companies operating in the current financial sector decide to try and implement blockchain technology.

Readiness

Is the product 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.
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?

4.0
N/A
4 - Large audience / wide market.
Competition

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Quite a few / somewhat better competitors.
Innovation

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Some, but nothing outstanding.
2.6
Use of Blockchain

Use of Blockchain

Although innovative with respect to the current state of how the global finance industry currently operates, Valorem is not unique when compared to other organizations that plan to use blockchain technology in order to create a platform that facilitates decentralized transactions/loans/charity. The need for a custom token is questionable. Valorem states that if BTC or ETH were to be used, the requirements of the project would force the team to create a fork. Specific technical details should be discussed as to why BTC/ETH would not be suitable for this project. As far as the blockchain ecosystem, Valorem does not provide significant contributions when compared to other platforms that have the similar goals.

Blockchain Development

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Some smart contract functionality.
Disruptive Blockchain Advantage

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

5.0
N/A
5 - Fundamentally disruptive.
Need for 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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Meh, okay.
2.2
Whitepaper

Whitepaper

A significant portion of the whitepaper discusses value creation and why a blockchain-powered financial infrastructure is needed. However, to most investors, this information is already obvious and Valorem needs to focus on what sets their platform apart from other organizations that set out to provide the same service. Additionally, the whitepaper lacks technical detail. In fact, the most technologically focused aspect of the whitepaper is contained within only two figures, both of which do not have any sort of caption or explanation as to how Valorem plans to utilize blockchain technology for their platform.

Comprehensiveness

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

3.0
N/A
3 - Covers most key issues; a few holes.
Readability

Is it easy enough to understand?

3.0
N/A
3 - Readable, takes some time.
Transparency

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Ambiguous non-disclosure.
Business Plan Presentation

Does it contain a viable, comprehensive business plan?

2.0
N/A
2 - Missing critical information.
Technology Presentation

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

1.0
N/A
1 - Severely lacking.
2.4
Roadmap

Roadmap

Valorem organizes the development of the platform in four phases. Valorem states that the first phase, will be to create a blockchain ledger and user interface. Seeing that VLR will use the ERC20 token standard, “creating” a blockchain ledger and user interface will be trivial for a single moderately experienced developer. Also, Valorem plans to implement micro loans, rent payment, car & student loans, and payment processing, all of which are currently in development. Phase two will be to disrupt the goods and services market. Valorem plans to do this by increasing adoption of the platform and allow for businesses to use the platform for capital requests. The third phase of development will be incorporate insurance and non-profit industries to utilize the platform. The last phase will be maintenance and future development of the platform, which includes additional currency adaption and creation of industry-specific sales teams.

Concreteness

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

3.0
N/A
3 - An overall plan, major milestones stated.
Feasiblity

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Very ambitious.
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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Not fully available or trustworthy.
Current Position

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Critical obstacles ahead.
2.0
Compliance

Compliance

The VLR token is based on ERC20 token standards (Zerocoin protocol) and will act as the medium of exchange on the Valorem platform. VLR acts as both a utility token and as an investment vehicle for the Valorem Foundation. Valorem ensures that their team is capable of addressing legislative and regulatory concerns, however more specific details of these obstacles should discussed, and how these issues are planned to be addressed. More attention needs to be given to compliance issues, as this topic is quite vague and not discussed in great detail in the whitepaper.

Token Utility (value through usage)

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

3.0
N/A
3 - Limited or uncertain use cases.
Token as Security (tradable instrument)

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Primarily, with few additional rights.
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?

1.0
N/A
1 - Nothing yet, just an idea.
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.
1.8
Company and Team

Company and Team

Valorem Foundation highly praises themselves on their team and uses it as a fall-back for many of the concerns and questions which can be seen in the FAQ section of their website. The team is relatively small (10-15 people), especially considering the level of ambition that the project possesses and its plan to disrupt the major sectors in the finance industry. A concern is the development team (4 developers), with only one developer that seems to have direct professional experience with blockchain technology. Links to LinkedIn profiles are not included in the whitepaper but can be found (based on a small sample size) through manual search. The CEO/Founder has a sales background and has a degree in operations management and real estate & law and is listed a member of the development team. Valorem (either intentionally or unintentionally) has some ambiguity regarding the Valorem Foundation team and identifying which members simply act as advisors to the team.

Company Stage and Foundation

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Initial stages of formation.
Background of Lead Team Members

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Fragmented or inconclusive.
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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Lacking in key areas.
Team Skill Set Relevance

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Lacking or inconsistent.
Team Skill Set Balance

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

1.0
N/A
1 - Severely skewed.
2.2
Token Sale

Token Sale

Total number of tokens is 200 million. 50 million tokens are reserved for platform development (30%), business development (25%), marketing (15%), contingency (10%), contractors (10%), and admin (10%). The rest of the 150 million tokens will be available to the public after launch. Valorem Foundation plans to raise a maximum of is $52.5MM USD (minimum of $25MM). However, Valorem states that these values are subject to change depending on the valuation of ETH/USD. The exchange rate will be 1 ETH = 1000 VLR. The token sale opens January 28th 2018.

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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Only loosely related to plans.
Fund Allocation

Is fund distribution and allocation reasonable and justified?

2.0
N/A
2 - Use of funds only loosely defined.
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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Minor exposure and interest, or ambivalent reception.

Product

Valorem is currently at the early developmental stages of the project. As with most ICOs, Valorem is currently focused on increasing adoption of the platform. The technological barriers that Valorem faces are minor compared to the regulatory obstacles that Valorem must address before the platform has a chance of seeing widespread adoption. The particular sector that Valorem wishes to enter is also very competitive. Many startup companies are currently attempting to establish themselves in this area, and competition will only increase as trusted companies operating in the current financial sector decide to try and implement blockchain technology.

Readiness

Is the product 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.
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?

4.0
N/A
4 - Large audience / wide market.
Competition

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Quite a few / somewhat better competitors.
Innovation

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Some, but nothing outstanding.

Use of Blockchain

Although innovative with respect to the current state of how the global finance industry currently operates, Valorem is not unique when compared to other organizations that plan to use blockchain technology in order to create a platform that facilitates decentralized transactions/loans/charity. The need for a custom token is questionable. Valorem states that if BTC or ETH were to be used, the requirements of the project would force the team to create a fork. Specific technical details should be discussed as to why BTC/ETH would not be suitable for this project. As far as the blockchain ecosystem, Valorem does not provide significant contributions when compared to other platforms that have the similar goals.

Blockchain Development

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Some smart contract functionality.
Disruptive Blockchain Advantage

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

5.0
N/A
5 - Fundamentally disruptive.
Need for 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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Meh, okay.

Whitepaper

A significant portion of the whitepaper discusses value creation and why a blockchain-powered financial infrastructure is needed. However, to most investors, this information is already obvious and Valorem needs to focus on what sets their platform apart from other organizations that set out to provide the same service. Additionally, the whitepaper lacks technical detail. In fact, the most technologically focused aspect of the whitepaper is contained within only two figures, both of which do not have any sort of caption or explanation as to how Valorem plans to utilize blockchain technology for their platform.

Comprehensiveness

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

3.0
N/A
3 - Covers most key issues; a few holes.
Readability

Is it easy enough to understand?

3.0
N/A
3 - Readable, takes some time.
Transparency

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Ambiguous non-disclosure.
Business Plan Presentation

Does it contain a viable, comprehensive business plan?

2.0
N/A
2 - Missing critical information.
Technology Presentation

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

1.0
N/A
1 - Severely lacking.

Roadmap

Valorem organizes the development of the platform in four phases. Valorem states that the first phase, will be to create a blockchain ledger and user interface. Seeing that VLR will use the ERC20 token standard, “creating” a blockchain ledger and user interface will be trivial for a single moderately experienced developer. Also, Valorem plans to implement micro loans, rent payment, car & student loans, and payment processing, all of which are currently in development. Phase two will be to disrupt the goods and services market. Valorem plans to do this by increasing adoption of the platform and allow for businesses to use the platform for capital requests. The third phase of development will be incorporate insurance and non-profit industries to utilize the platform. The last phase will be maintenance and future development of the platform, which includes additional currency adaption and creation of industry-specific sales teams.

Concreteness

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

3.0
N/A
3 - An overall plan, major milestones stated.
Feasiblity

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Very ambitious.
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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Not fully available or trustworthy.
Current Position

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Critical obstacles ahead.

Compliance

The VLR token is based on ERC20 token standards (Zerocoin protocol) and will act as the medium of exchange on the Valorem platform. VLR acts as both a utility token and as an investment vehicle for the Valorem Foundation. Valorem ensures that their team is capable of addressing legislative and regulatory concerns, however more specific details of these obstacles should discussed, and how these issues are planned to be addressed. More attention needs to be given to compliance issues, as this topic is quite vague and not discussed in great detail in the whitepaper.

Token Utility (value through usage)

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

3.0
N/A
3 - Limited or uncertain use cases.
Token as Security (tradable instrument)

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Primarily, with few additional rights.
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?

1.0
N/A
1 - Nothing yet, just an idea.
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.

Company and Team

Valorem Foundation highly praises themselves on their team and uses it as a fall-back for many of the concerns and questions which can be seen in the FAQ section of their website. The team is relatively small (10-15 people), especially considering the level of ambition that the project possesses and its plan to disrupt the major sectors in the finance industry. A concern is the development team (4 developers), with only one developer that seems to have direct professional experience with blockchain technology. Links to LinkedIn profiles are not included in the whitepaper but can be found (based on a small sample size) through manual search. The CEO/Founder has a sales background and has a degree in operations management and real estate & law and is listed a member of the development team. Valorem (either intentionally or unintentionally) has some ambiguity regarding the Valorem Foundation team and identifying which members simply act as advisors to the team.

Company Stage and Foundation

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Initial stages of formation.
Background of Lead Team Members

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Fragmented or inconclusive.
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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Lacking in key areas.
Team Skill Set Relevance

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

2.0
N/A
2 - Lacking or inconsistent.
Team Skill Set Balance

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

1.0
N/A
1 - Severely skewed.

Token Sale

Total number of tokens is 200 million. 50 million tokens are reserved for platform development (30%), business development (25%), marketing (15%), contingency (10%), contractors (10%), and admin (10%). The rest of the 150 million tokens will be available to the public after launch. Valorem Foundation plans to raise a maximum of is $52.5MM USD (minimum of $25MM). However, Valorem states that these values are subject to change depending on the valuation of ETH/USD. The exchange rate will be 1 ETH = 1000 VLR. The token sale opens January 28th 2018.

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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Only loosely related to plans.
Fund Allocation

Is fund distribution and allocation reasonable and justified?

2.0
N/A
2 - Use of funds only loosely defined.
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?

2.0
N/A
2 - Minor exposure and interest, or ambivalent reception.
It is stated that Valorem Foundation considered using BTC and ETH instead of creating a unique token, but it was found that due to specific requirements, a fork would be necessary if BTC and/or ETH were to be used (hence a unique token was used to start with a clean slate). What are these specific requirements and why would BTC and/or ETH not be sufficient for the Valorem platform?

Great question. Before we started, we evaluated using the ETH or BTC, we quickly found that due to the importance of being able to implement our rules and specific requirements would involve us to fork them. We opted against that and thought it best to start with a clean slate. The other reason we opted to create our own currency is because we believe that we can maintain and grow the value via massive utilization of our platform. But we must do that without restrictions of current developed platforms. We believe that the value-added approach that we have mapped out will dramatically increase the value of the VLR once community realizes the platforms true potential.

As a follow up question, if BTC/ETH was initially planned to be used for the platform, was there a change in the way funding allocation would take place once it was decided that Valorem will have a VLR token sale, which would increase funds to the Valorem foundation? Would it be fair to say that part of the reason why a new token was created was to generate additional funding for the Valorem platform? Do you feel that having a unique token (VLR) for a particular platform (Valorem) undermines the team's goal of decentralization?

We definitely need funding to build the platform. We absolutely agree that in the beginning a centralized method of creating the platform, rules and governing features will exist. However, we are huge proponents of the DAO method and believe that that is where we will push the development. Further, having a separate token and an independent platform does only create the ability to build something better and unique, but allows creativity to start from scratch. Since we are so focused on our project, it allows us the ability to work and build our own without having to worry about using something already partially created.

What are the biggest obstacles that Valorem Foundation faces in the future from a regulatory perspective and how does the Valorem team plan to address these issues?
We are not lawyers. We are entrepreneurs. Regulation is always part of the enterprise, but it’s not to be feared, only understood and complied with. If one does their due diligence, works hard and follows the rules (whatever they may be at the time) everything will work out. We are performing our sale with a SAFT. That is what we were advised by our counsel. If that changes and we are forced to register, we will consider it at the time.
From a user perspective, how will eligibility of receiving a loan be determined? Are there specific criteria which must be satisfied in order to be eligible to receive a loan. If so, what are these criteria and how will they be verified? What are the specific details of the oracle serves that Valorem plans to use? For the millions of unbanked individuals living in third-world countries without a credit history, how will these individuals use the Valorem platform?
Each user will be responsible for their own destiny. We cannot disclose everything right now, but basically it will operate on a trust system(not just a simple blockchain). Every user is slightly restricted at first, then more and more permission is given to them. More borrowing limits, more restrictions lifted. A profile is established. Once that happens, we have our foundation with users and guidelines. Everyone that signs up will need to purchase the tokens, once they do, they will be able to transact with others worldwide. Building their credit profile, building their trust ranking. With various tools such as the hedge helping trust be created and limiting risk. In time, more usage will afford more people ability to transact in a closed ecosystem and in time will create the ability for easy trade.
It is stated in the FAQ section of the website that Valorem understands that the platform "isn't anything novel" and that "over time, [the] updates and feature set's will show how original and necessary" the concept is. These statements seem contradictory. Can you clarify what separates Valorem from other organizations that wish to create a transaction/lending/charity platform using blockchain technology? What sets you apart from everyone else?
Great question. We recognize that commerce isn’t novel. People have used commerce to transact starting with the barter system. However, in time everything got more complex. Our mission is to disrupt and simplify. It is to create a simple-to-use framework for users to be able to utilize Valorem for as much as possible. We get this question all the time. Everyone is creating something on the blockchain these days. But you must remember, that proof is in the pudding. Those that actually create something and that something being worth using will be a very small fraction of current ICO’s. The reason for this is simple. Team. Many people have teams of only developers, others have teams of only people who know how to raise money, other’s have huge teams of sponsors or even simply fancy placeholders to entice investors. Valorem has none of that. We have been blessed with having a great team. A well rounded team. Our advisers come from all walks of life and offer perspective on hug. Everyone is currently or has been in the past involved in an entrepreneurial venture of some kind and have tons of experience to lend. We hope to borrow all of it from them.  Let’s Invest AdValorem!

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