ICODrops Review: Celer Network (Eng)

ICODrops Review: Celer Network (Eng)


https://icodrops.com/
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Celer network is a blockchain-agnostic solution for smart contracts' scalability and payments on the second layer (off-chain).


Timeframe:

Seed & Private Sale were conducted during Spring-Summer of 2018.

Crowdsale will occur on Binance Launchpad in March 2019.


Metrics:

Ticker: CELR. 

Token standard: ERC20.

Total token supply is 10 billion.

Token allocation:

25% is for PoLC mining reward, Off-chain ecosystem building 

20% is for the team (18.3%) and advisors (1.7%) (2-year vesting)

17% is for the Foundation (2-year vesting)

5% is for Marketing

33% is offered for sale:

1. Seed round. The token price was 0.0065 USD, 11.5% of the total supply (ETH peg was 494$).

2. Private round. The token price was 0,015 USD, 15.5% of the total supply (ETH peg was 471$).

2. Public round: 4 million USD, the token price is 0.0067 USD, 6% of the total supply.

According to the last round, the valuation is 67 million USD.

The initial amount of tokens in circulation will be 1,965,033,333, which is the equivalent of 13 165 723 million USD.


Social metrics:

The official website was created on January 26, 2018.

The website has 207 daily visitors and 830 daily views.

According to Alexa, 46% of the website's traffic comes from the USA.

The official Twitter page was created in March 2018 and now has 7500 followers (among which there are representatives of the Ethereum's community and famous crypto funds). The activity is high, and the team mentions numerous conference speeches and partnerships.

The telegram channel was initiated at the beginning of May 2018 and now has more than 27 000 subscribers. The activity there is on a high level, admins are very engaged in the process and answer questions. As per the admins, there is no plan to conduct either a bounty campaign or an airdrop.

Additional information: the project's Medium blog is being actively developed (with weekly reports) the first post was published on May 15, 2018.


Key players:

The team:

All four founders are coming from the academic sphere and have Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the U.S. universities. They all have an excellent record of working experience in California's largest companies, such as Google, Intel, and smaller, but stable companies like Veriflow and Barefoot Networks. Overall, the team is quite capable and has engineers with vast relevant experience.

Dr. Mo Dong - 500+ contacts. Dr. Mo got his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. He was acted as a software engineer and product manager in Veriflow (a mid-range U.S. based company). Dr. Mo is an expert in algorithmic game theory for protocol development.

Dr. Junda Liu - 316 contacts. Dr. Junda got his Ph.D. in Computer Networks at the Berkeley University in California. He is a former Google employee, where he spent seven years from 2011. Dr. Junda started by developing his infrastructure of a network for data processing, and then he co-founded a mobile services company Project Fi in 2014. Later on, he was Android Tech Lead for mobile operators that work on 1,5 billion devices.

Xiaozhou rXiaozhou - 500+ contacts. He got his Ph.D. in Computer Networks from Princeton University. Xiaozhou's works were published on the leading platforms about the distributed systems, networks, data storage, and management and became the base components of Google TensorFlow, Intel DPDK, and Barefoot Deep Insight.

Qingkai Liang - 292 contacts. Qingkai obtained Ph.D. in Computer Networks at MIT. His research focuses on various issues in learning and control that occur in network systems, especially when it comes to online learning algorithms in competitive networks. These works were successfully implemented in Raytheon BBN Technologies & Bell Labs. He works as a research assistant and has experience in Google as an intern.

The team is comprised of five well-experienced developers.

Yunjia Dai - 109 contacts in LinkedIn. Yunjia has eight years of experience as a software developer. He previously worked at Google.

Yan Zhang - 500+ contacts. Yan has more than seven years of mobile platform development experience (Android, Blackberry). He built dozens of innovative mobile products. Yan also acted as a senior specialist in such companies, as Huawei and Yun Plug.

Michael Zhou - 500+ contacts. Michael is a software engineer. His former experience includes working at Google for four years. He graduated from MIT.

Changfeng Liu - 414 contacts. Changfeng is a software engineer. He finished the University of Michigan, where he also worked as a researcher. He is the author of works about AI and data management.

Zixuan Wang - has been acting as an Android developer in Nanjing Bank and Jiangsu Bank for six years. He got two patents on protecting the Android system from failures. Zixuan's primary focus is in arranging the security and optimization for mobile apps and systems.

The team also has an experienced designer Alex Wu. Sirong Li and Windy Wang are successful analysts and marketers. They have valuable experience in the development and support of the product during its launch.


Advisors:

The project's advisors also come from the academic sphere and are well recognized, more than the team members:

Dr. Christos Kozyrakis is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University, a professor at EPFL, a member of ACM & IEEE (these are highly ranked academic associations in Computer Science within the U.S.). His primary focus is on secure and energy-efficient distributed systems.

Alan Mishchenko has been a Researcher at UC Berkeley from 2002. He specializes in the development of fast and scalable tools for design automation and logic synthesis & verification. Alan graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1993. He has been working within Berkeley from 2002. 


Partners/investors:

Major partnerships:

L4 is an organization focused on developing web3. It conducts crypto research, along with building and supporting crypto projects.

Pantera Capital is an investment firm that specializes particularly on venture projects that are related to the blockchain technology and digital currencies. The firm's headquarters is located in Menlo Park, California. There are from 2 to 10 people employed.

DHVC is a fund that mostly invests in the companies during their early stages of development via groundbreaking technologies, or innovative business models, huge market influence and experienced management team. There are between 11 and 50 people employed.

FBG Capital is a company that manages digital assets on the capital market based on the blockchain, and it has 2 to 10 employees.

Block VC is an investment-consulting blockchain firm. It employs 101-250 people.

Arrington XRP Capital is a first fund to rely on Ripple's cryptocurrency XRP entirely. (Aergo, Reserve, Perlin, CarryCertik, Origo NKN, Mainframe, etc.)

Fenbushi Capital is one of the pioneering venture funds in China that solely invests in blockchain supporting companies. Its headquarters is located in Pudong, Shanghai, and the team consists of 2-10 people.

Signum is a Singapore based venture fund that was founded in 2017 and works exclusively with the projects that support blockchain.

Matrix Partners is a venture fund focused on investing in startups during their early stages. The headquarters is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and there are 11-50 people employed.

500 Startups is an American venture fund and one of the most famous startup accelerator, founded in 2010. It has a network of startup programs in Silicon Valley with a dedicated capital that exceeds 454 million USD in 4 base funds and 15 themed funds. The headquarters is located in San Francisco, California, and there are 51-200 employees.

Quarkchain is a scalable customer-oriented blockchain infrastructure with an implementation of sharding technology.

Qtum is a blockchain project that allows decentralized apps and smart-contracts to be executed as part of UTXO transactions.

iotex is a decentralized IoT blockchain-based system that mainly focuses on privacy.

NGC is a Singapore-based venture fund, which was recently reorganized by the NEO fund. Its headquarters is located in Singapore, and there are 2-10 people employed.

Waves is a blockchain platform for storing and exchanging tokens, trading (DEX) and business logic execution (Waves Smart Contract).

LinkVC is a venture fund with headquarters in Singapore and 2-10 people employed.

MW Partners is an investment firm that specializes exclusively on the projects that support blockchain. Its headquarters is located in Singapore, and there are 2-10 people employed.

There are also such partners, as Stable Fund, BIXIN CAPITAL, Nima Capital, OKBlockchain Capital, Free s Found, 360 INNO Capital, ZMT Capital, Async Capital, AlphaCoin Fund, ælf, ONEBOAT CAPITAL, Queschain Capital, LYVC, Tsinghua Capital, PreAngel Fund, Fission Capital, Bgogo, Blockchain Global, CollinStar, ASBV China, Torque Ventures, Elysium, Marvelous Peach Capital, RootsCap, Continue Capital, Sailor Capital, Dynamic Fintech Group (DFG), Spark Capital, Consensus Lab, Bamboo Capital Partners, SRC (Strategic Round Capital), dfinity, Nervos, ChainLink.


Technology and idea:

Whitepaper

The platform, which may be an add-on of the existing or future blockchains and which will allow adding off-chain solutions.

It needs several add-ons:

-cChannel – lower layer, interacting with lower blockchains and upper layers, providing them with current data. Off-chain contracts, generation of off-chain transactions, the state exchange.

-cRoute – value transmission layer. 

-cOS – a framework for dApps design.

WP describes interactions of on-chain and off-chain state of network and mechanisms of withdrawal of actives from off-chain in various situations. It foresees side-chain solutions, where the users may freeze their means on a smart-contract and carry out sidechain calculations where the third party will produce blocks.


Tokenomics

Token economics is standard. It is generally accepted that the network will not be functioning without token value because its participants will have no motivation to support the functioning of the network. CELR token is an integrated part of the system that stimulates liquidity.

On-chain locking of tokens is required for value transmission in off-chain.

They offer their innovations:

- PoLC – the process of virtual mining by locking their actives. It means that thereby increased liquidity will be created (as I understood, this is something like a liquidity pool).

- LiBA – the process of lending the liquidity from the crowd to the service providers. The more tokens the network participant gives, the better priority their tokens will have for lending and more authority they will have.

- SGN – the system of controlling the state of balances of the network participants when someone is offline. You should lock the tokens to be a “guard”.

In total, the WP is rather detailed: their model is mathematically justified, they have simulation reports, extensive explanations of the above-listed technologies, formulas, explanations. It makes a good impression.


Roadmap:


MVP:

Currently, the beta testing of CelerX is ongoing. This platform is connected to the Celer Network. There you can test a decentralized game's performance.




Github:

The project has eight public repos and 31 private ones. A portion of the code is published for demonstration purposes.

One of the repos represents the connection of Celer Network to Ethereum via smart-contracts. One of the repos features an example of the app (Gomoku) that utilizesCeler Network.

A huge point in favor of the team is that they provided SDK for more straightforward implementation of Celer Network in various apps (iOS, Android, and Web applications).


Competitors:

Raiden Network (valuation around 30 million USD)

Loom Network (valuation around 60 million USD)

POA Network (valuation around 8 million USD)

Liquidity Network (valuation around 5 million USD)

Plasma (no token)

Perun Network (no token)

Counterfactual (no token)

Connext Network (no token)

Matic Network (token sale is planned)


Summary:

Celer has been out there since Spring 2018, and already then it seemed like a candidate for 'high interest' rank.

The project provides a solution for one of the industry's essential problems - transactions' scalability. During several recent months, more and more teams from the list mentioned above release their products. Unlike them, Celer is a blockchain-agnostic solution, though currently this isn't demanded.

Strengths:

  1. The full-fledged product is expected to be delivered in Q2, 2019. Currently, the team is looking for dApp developers, they also provide the opportunity to join beta-testing of the app that uses Celer. In addition to that, the team is mostly focused on arranging a very convenient way of interaction with the developers, which can facilitate the growth of the project's community.
  2. A competent team provides one way of solving the scalability issue. The project is quite famous in the crypto sphere, and they actively participate in conference calls for State Channel Research.
  3. Established crypto funds and organizations vastly support the team. The most notable of them is L4, focused on the development of Counterfactual and building web3. The most famous investors of the project are 500 Startups, Matrix Partners, and DHVC.
  4. The public sale will be conducted on Binance Launchpad, which excites the project even more.

Risks:

  1. There are other solutions in development that do not use their own tokens and therefore are more frictionless.
  2. The early stage investors have an advantage due to the ETH price. Private Sale will get 1.61 times more tokens (considering that at the time of sale on Binance Ethereum costs 130$), and Private Sale participants will get almost all of their tokens on the listing. Seed round participants will get roughly four times more tokens.