Ocean Protocol

Ocean Protocol


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https://oceanprotocol.com/
Executive summary

Ocean protocol is a decentralized protocol based on the Ethereum blockchain for unlocking and sharing data in AI and Big Data.


Timeframe

Main sale: 06.03 14:00 UTC, currently there is a whitelist registration ongoing via the Coinlist, the hard cap is planned to be 7 million EUR with 32 million tokens offered with no lock-ups and vesting.

During the pre-launch stage that occurred on March 7, 2018, 16 million EUR were raised for 81 million tokens, which had 6-month vesting after the mainnet launch. 

The seed round that was carried out in October 2017 resulted in raising 3.8 million EUR for 47 million tokens, which had vesting for 12 months after the launch of the mainnet.

Network Launch is scheduled to March 31, 2019.

Token Exchange is planned to occur in 15 days after the network launch.

Hard Cap

7 million EUR

Percentage of tokens available for contributors

The total amount of tokens offered will be 32 million, which is 2,27% of the Total Token Supply (1,410,000,000).

It's worth noting the mining factor - 60% block reward.

The entire amount of tokens offered throughout all the stages is 160 million, which equals 11.3% of the Total Token Supply, for 26,8 million EUR (calculated using the prices at the time of fundraising).

Capitalization summary:

The Initial Circulating Supply is estimated to be 193 million tokens, considering the main sale's price of 0,22 EUR cents the market cap is 42.46 million EUR (or about 48 million USD).

Despite the complex vesting system for each fundraising stage it's already evident that a significant portion of tokens already leaks into the circulation (the team's/partners'/advisors'?), which may cause higher volatility.

Let's imply that there will be standard vesting with monthly unlock and approximately calculate:

Seed round offered 3,91 million a month multiplied by 12 months

Pre-launch offered 13,5 million a month multiplied by 6 months

The main sale will offer 32 million with no lockups

The total is 49,41 million tokens out of 193 million in the initial circulation

We shall also consider that a year ago the team had another version of this table with an additional round of token distribution "post launch". Currently, this table can only be found in the Telegram group's history:


Social metrics

The website exists for 1 year and 4 months

Daily visitors metric estimates 306 visitors, 23.1% of which comes from Germany, 11.9% from the USA, and 9.5% from India

The Twitter page was created in September 2017 and how has 12,1 thousand subscribers, with such notable accounts as Joey Krug, Web3foundation & ParityTech, Vinny Lingham, Spencer Bogart & Brad Laurie, also among the followers there is Fetch AI that has recently become rather famous and a less hyped project The Graph

The team actively posts the information about the project, partnerships, and links in mass media almost every day.

The Telegram channel was created on November 22, 2017, and now has 6926 users joined (a year ago there were around 12 000 users). Up until the pre-launch stage, the communication was rather weak, and there is no trace of an airdrop, fake members or bounty campaign

The project passionately posts on their Medium page that has useful information about the project and general information about the blockchain.


Key players

The team is large. There are 45 people mentioned. Around 15 of them are developers.


Bruce Pon is one of the founders. He also founded an IT consulting company Avantalion Consulting Group, where he worked until 2014.

In addition to that, Bruce is CEO of Bigchain DB - a database with blockchain features: creation, transferring and managing assets; dApp integration; token generation. The project exists for around 5 years. The initial version was released 3 years ago. The project has its own Github page and is quite famous in the blockchain sphere. Its Twitter page has such subscribers as Vinni Lingham, Erik Voorhees, funds like FBG, DGC, and others. The company's Linkedin page has ~1.7 followers.

Bruce acts as a founder of Ocean Protocol from June 2017.

Daryl Arnold is one of the founders. He previously incepted a couple of projects: ConnectedLife (IoT in healthcare), Newton Circus (a social enterprise). At first glance the projects are not scaled enough yet.

Trent McConaghy is one of the founders. He also is a Technical Director of the BigchainDB (2015) & Ocean Protocol (2017). Trent is an expert with more than 15 years of experience in the AI sphere, and he is a Ph.D. in Machine Learning. Trent's Twitter page is quite hyped, even Vitalik, Tone Vays, and various blockchain funds are subscribed.

Dimitri De Jonghe is the co-founder and head of research in blockchain technology. He also comes from BigchainDB. Dimitri is a Ph.D. in Micro-electronics.

John Enevoldsen is the co-founder. He works on the project since 2017 via Bigchain. His former experience includes 5 years as a business analyst & data scientist at Airbnb.

Donald Gossen is the co-founder with 10 years of experience in a large company NTT DATA (50 000 employees, IT services provider) as a business development manager & senior technical consultant. Like his peers, Donald joined the Ocean Protocol via BigchainDB.


The fact that there are 6 co-founders is unusual. All of them, except for Daryl Arnold, come from Germany. The majority of the executives also are employees/founders at BigchainDB, which is out there for around 5 years. The project's website highlights that the Ocean Protocol itself doesn't utilize BigchainDB's groundwork.


The team members mostly come from Germany, but there are also people from USA, Singapore, and the UK. The vast majority of them are also tied with Bigchain BD.


Advisors

The project mentions more than 35 advisors. However, not all names are disclosed. The advisors aren't mentioned in any single section neither on the website nor in the Medium posts about them.

We want to highlight the following advisors:

Meltem Demirors is CSO at CoinShares (a London based company that provides digital assets management), advisor at MIT Media Lab, a blockchain advisor for World Economic Forum from 2016, and a former VP at Digital Currency Group, where she spent 2 years.

Dr. Ben Goertzel is CEO of SingularityNet (ranked 126 by CMC), he is a recognized AI expert.

Dr. Anastassia Lauterbach is Nasdaq's board of advisors member, an independent director of Dun & Bradstreet (an American company specialized in gathering and cataloging information about private companies, that keeps the largest global registry of them), non-managing director at easyJet (a British low cost airline), Wirecard ( German supplier of electronic payment and risk management solutions).

Amir Banifatemi is a general manager of the AI group of XPRIZE Foundation (a fund supporting groundbreaking innovations for improvement in the quality of life for the entire humanity).

Jason Teutsch is CEO and founder of TrueBit (a scalable verification solution for blockchains), a researcher-mathematician.

Peter Wang is CTO and co-founder of Anaconda (Python data science platform that has 12 million users).

Luis Cuende is a founder and CEO of the Aragon project (organization management solution on the blockchain).

Carsten Stoecker is CEO and founder Spherity (a German blockchain startup, partnered with Fetch.ai, that is focused on developing applications that provide enterprises with unique identifications, which are connected to their complete digital copies). He is also a board member of Blockchain Global Future Council for World Economic Forum.

Sebastian Gajek is a chief scientist and co-founder at Weeve (a German startup that builds an IoT blockchain platform and partnered with Singularity and Iotex), a Head of the IT security and cryptography group at Flensburg University.

Adam Drake is a data scientist, CEO of Atazzo (a Singapore based company focused on consulting and IT support for tech companies in SEA).

Chris Ballinger is founder and CEO of Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (a California based company that integrates blockchain-solutions in transportation).

Mark Messow is VP of ABB group (a European enterprise that specializes in electronic tech, heavy energy equipment, and information technologies), which works on IoT and transformation of business models. Formerly he acted as a managing director at various IT companies.

Franck Martins has been managing APAC Strategic Technical Marketing in STMicroelectronics in Singapore for 18 years (a European company focused on production and sales of semiconductor electronic and microelectronic components).


Partners

Fitchain is a project for machine learning on the blockchain. It offers a model that utilizes machine learning within an organization (a client) and processes its data internally and keeping it secure and isolated. The programs educated this way can be further sold via cryptocurrency wallets. The most recent post in the project's blog is dated July 16, 2018. The latest Twitter post was published at the end of September 2018. Perhaps, the work on the project is in progress, but the social activity is currently absent.

Enigma is a project focused on creating a privacy layer for decentralized systems. With its protocol, Enigma attempts to solve as they consider two major issues of the blockchain: privacy and scalability. They are developing a marketplace. The team has been working on the project from July 2017.

Xprize (IBM Watson AI) focuses on increasing adoption of AI technologies and incentivizing creative, innovational and bold technologies that will be practically useful in resolving a wide range of social issues. Currently, the project is active.

Mobi is a project that aims to bring blockchain to the transportation sphere to increase its efficiency and decrease the environmental impact. The concept looks somewhat like a combination of Greenpeace & blockchain. The project is being developed, and social activity is present.

Couger is a Japanese project specialized on the creation of an integrated autonomous technological platform called Connectome that aims to combine AI, IoT, robotics, and blockchain. The concept is very futuristic. The social activity is in the Japanese language and is being quite lively.

Messari develops an open data library and tools for working with it that will help researchers and regulators to study the industry of crypto assets. The activity is present.

The project's blog suggests that there is some cooperation with:

Mattereum is a London based project that aims to integrate blockchain software into law contracts' execution.

POA Network is an open and public network based on the Ethereum protocol with a Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus mechanism.


Technology and idea

Description:

Ocean is a decentralized protocol and data (services) network for AI. It aims to integrate the AI's features by unlocking the data and keeping the privacy intact. The protocol will assist marketplaces to trade data & services, software for access and publishing regular data, and data analysis tools.

Network features & internal tools:

– Proof-of-service. The network will have incentives for data sharing. In particular, Ocean motivates its users to refer to and provide quality data & AI services.

– Network development. Ocean Protocol focuses on the ecosystem's growth. A portion of the network's rewards will be spent on this.

– A protocol as a network between services. There will be suppliers for data, algorithms, storage, etc. Each of them can be centralized behind a firewall, centralized in a cloud (e.g., AWS S3, or EC2), or fully decentralized (for instance FileCoin, or Golem & Enigma).

– Decentralized federated learning. Keeps track of the privacy attacks' vectors, enhances control and guarantees 'service agreement' execution.

– Data science tools is a protocol interface used by AI researchers and data scientists. Written in Python, these tools and libraries provide a high-level API that allows integrating the protocol features into various computation conveyors.

– Aquarius is a Python backend app, which enables metadata management. It isolates access to various metadata storages, allowing Aquarius to integrate different metadata storages.

Summary:

● Ocean helps to make data accessible for AI while retaining control of it via decentralized service agreements, which provide computation for data.

● Ocean has a network reward to stimulate the provision of data and public services.

● Ocean uses bonuses for continuous financing of improvements for the network and the community.

Tokenomics:

The key distinctive feature of this project is the fact that the token will be used not only for purchasing data but also for incentivizing quality data sharing within the protocol. The incentive mechanism is based on the Token Curated Registry that implies staking tokens to prove the quality of provided data.

MVP

The project is at its final stage of development, and the mainnet is scheduled to launch at the end of Q1 2019 when the main sale is conducted.

Github

The project has 51 public repo (!), some of which are forks of other projects, particularly POA's bridges & blockchain explorer blockscout, along with a gnosis MultiSig wallet with some other features from Parity.

As you can see, all of the features belong to the ETH ecosystem.

The major repos of the project:

keeper-contracts

- keeper-contracts is smart-contracts on the Ethereum blockchain written in Solidity, 1949 commits, 71 release, 19 employees worked on it from June 3, 2018, to February 2019.


Aquarius

- On top of the contracts and EVM, there is an Aquarius, which is an off-chain database for asset metadata written in Python, 377 commits, 11 releases, 12 developers worked on it from June 17, 2018, to February 2019 (considering the activity, it was almost entirely completed by Enrique Ruiz)


Pleuston

- The top layer Pleuston is a web application for consumers, aimed towards learning, uploading, and publication of data resources written in React/redux, 916 commits, 3 releases, 11 contributors from June 3, 2018, to February 2019, the level of activity is moderate, the most active contributor is Matthias Kretschmann, data storage providers are AWS S3 & Microsoft's Azure.

It's worth noting how open the team is about their development process.


Possible competition:

This project can be compared to FOAM (market cap 6 677 706 USD, peaked around 10 million USD) & Quant (market cap 37 744 839 USD, peaked at 47 million USD).

This comparison is somewhat subjective, but even if we assume that the market will evaluate Ocean Protocol somewhere in this range, there is a slight potential for growth, which may be affected by the unlock of approximately 143 million tokens of the liquidity that will be out of hands of those, who participated in all the stages of sales.


Addendum / summary / opinions

The project looks open in terms of development, and it is legally compliant. However, there are some risks of participation in the main sale that are related to drastic changes in the rates and lock-ups for participants on different stages of fundraising.

The project's Github is one of the most developed in terms of the amount of the work input and volume of the produced code.

Other strong sides are the project's age (more than a year), the team's experience (the team members are in the industry from 2014) and their credit in the blockchain sphere, close release date (one month is left).

On the other hand, the decentralization around Bigchain BD is rather apparent. In a sense, this is positive, because there are ready specialists with experience in the industry. However it's not clear why they are switching to another project, what is wrong with the one they already had? We will not discuss it in this report.

Overall, the project looks pretty organic and the team seems to be capable, the 7 million EUR hard cap is entirely reasonable. Nevertheless, such capitalizations on the current market are reached by projects with high demand from the community, which Ocean Protocol has yet to achieve.