Enigma/Catalyst Basic Review
|Start ICO||19 Aug 2017|
|End ICO||19 Sep 2017|
Ticker symbol: ECAT
Project type: A platform for algorithmic trading and investing in crypto-assets
Company: Enigma Project
ICO: Until the end of August 2017
Soft cap: No information available.
Hard cap: No information available.
Token: ECAT, follows ERC20 standard
Bonus structure: No information available
Referral system: No information available
Open source: No information available.
Team size: 3, plus 3 advisors.
Developer team active: Yes, steady activity on Slack
Wiki: No information available.
Twitter: +1001 followers
Reddit: +30 redditors
Facebook: No information available.
YouTube: No information available.
The Enigma Project company, an American start-up, was established by a group of MIT graduates. It is very successful in the secure data sharing market. Recently, Enigma Project announced its Catalyst project ICO.
The founders state about their project: “Catalyst is a platform for cryptocurrency traders, data curators, developers, and investors. Traders develop powerful quantitative strategies by using community-curated data sets, and investors put capital towards the best traders and strategies. In essence, Catalyst allows anyone to build their own crypto hedge fund.”
Expanding on the above quotation, Catalyst is the protocol that gives the opportunity to join crypto currency exchanges into a united. decentralized system. This system is intended to be a functional and straightforward way to manage and control funds.
The aim of the project is described in the White paper as follows: “The main goal of our platform is to serve as a one-stop shop for developers (or quantitative traders) who are interested in developing trading strategies that operate in the expanding domain of crypto- markets.”
We believe Catalyst is a very interesting and timely project for the industry. We can’t but say many services have not been developed yet in the crypto-assets market, being the usual ones in the physical financial market.
Successful private investors/traders need to occupy a leading position in the open, democratic crypto trading market. That is why this system allowing traders control their own hedge funds is going to be in demand.
The Catalyst solution meets the current requirements and standards of the blockchain industry. The company founders are focused on off-chain technologies, and intend to change the course of development of today’s exchanges in an analogous way to how the Lightning/Raiden networks leverage asset transfer off-chain.
The project is expected to be in demand. Several large-scale investors have been already interested in the project idea. Among them are the FLOODGATE, FLYBRIDGE Capital Partners and DIGITAL CURRENCY GROUOP, as well as other companies.
Unfortunately, the Enigma Project has not announced the exact date and details of the ICO yet; we are still waiting for this information. They have only announced an approximate date of mid-August 2017.
- highly experienced staff;
- this project implementation is very important and timely for users;
- sound high-tech solutions;
- investors are already interested in the project.
- infant project;
- absence of a financial plan.
Review of Competitors
The Catalyst project is more than an automated trading systems development; the project founders will provide investment funds services as well. The ICONOMY and PRISM companies provide similar products, but they do not implement decentralization.
Catalyst is a protocol for crypto-assets trading; we can compare the project with the Malenport and 0x projects, but these are on-chain solutions, thus they limit processing time and transaction quantity.
Catalyst is the only project in the field of new trade strategies development. It does not have direct competitors among other crypto-projects.
Market and Industry Review
Algorithmic trading has been used for a long time both in the mature financial market and since the beginning of the crypto-assets one. Choosing strategies can be challenging; hence developing algorithms is also challenging. Over time, the industry suggests solutions to create algorithms; as a result software developers with a basic level of knowledge are able to create them.
The Catalyst project is primarily focused on Quantopian. This is one of the most popular projects in the algorithmic robots industry. Quantopian is not still working with crypto- assets. So, it is possible The Catalyst will create a bridge between crypto traders and Quantopian approaches.
Technical Aspects of the Platform
Catalyst is a decentralized exchange protocol supporting cross-chain atomic swaps. From the White Paper: “The core of Catalyst’s architecture provides a method of performing cross-chain atomic swaps using hashed timelock contracts (HTLCs), operating under the direction of an algorithmic trade manager. This ensures that traders can maintain custody of their assets and privacy of their trading algorithms.”
Here we can see a similarity with the Lightning/Raiden networks. These solutions provide off-chain transactions processing: p2p channels are opened between transaction parties where the operations take place and they do not enter the blockchain, thus ensuring prompt operation without transaction charge. Security is provided with HTLCs.
The modified Zipline package is used as a library for the developing and back testing of the trade strategies in the Catalyst.
The White Paper is available on the web site. The document describes engineering aspects of the intended future project in detail.
Unfortunately there is not a budget scheme and road map of the project in the document. Some information is available in the bitcoin task blog.
Start: mid-August 2017
Closing: no information available
Price: no information available.
Crowdsale pool: 100 000 000 ECAT
After the ICO the tokens will be:
- 50% made available in the initial token sale (to be used only for operations);
- 30% retained as incentives for the Catalyst community;
- 10% distributed to the Enigma team and advisors (current and future);
- 10% retained by Enigma.
The founders distribute receipts under the following scheme:
- 60% for product and technology development;
- 15% for blockchain research;
- 10% for marketing purposes;
- 10% for operations;
- 5% for legal and administrative costs.
The token is intended to be the inner currency of the Catalyst project. Here are the four main services paid for by ECAT:
- Quant-trading platform. High performing trading strategies will be rewarded with Catalyst tokens through periodical competitions. Developers will be required to spend Catalyst tokens to be eligible to attract investments.
- Data marketplace. Using Catalyst tokens will provide access to premium data sources. Similarly, data curators will charge community members via Catalyst tokens.
- Investment platform. Users who invest in trading strategies will have to consume Catalyst tokens. The management and performance fees that traders charge will also be based on Catalyst tokens.
- Catalyst Exchange. Liquidity providers running our exchange protocol will be given Catalyst tokens proportional to their contribution to the liquidity pool.
Plans of the Project Devepment
The founders promise to issue a platform prototype with the API in test mode, with partial data access. The platform is intended to operate in full and be available between the 2nd and 3rd quarter of 2018. The centralized Catalyst is planned to be fully functional by the 1st quarter of 2019.
A creator of the Enigma and a Blockchain/Multi-party Computation researcher. Previously, Guy spent 10+ years in the software industry, including a CTO role at Endor, an MIT spin-off. Guy holds a MAS from the MIT Media Lab.
A cryptography and distributed systems expert, Conner was a researcher at the MIT CSAIL for 3 years and spent time at Box and eBay. He obtained both of his M.Eng and B.S. from the MIT EECS.
A former consultant turned entrepreneur in the blockchain space. Can spent 3 years working at McKinsey & Company, focusing on banking and finance and holds a MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Business.
The developers use Slack as their main communication platform with the public. The founders are active on the platform.
The developers keep a blog on their web site, where they disclose much information concerning the platform service and the future ICO arrangement.
There are many releases on the Catalyst project in Blockchain-related media. Here is a list of some journals with its advertising: cryptocoinsnews.com, ether.direct.fastcompany.com, and news.bitcoin.com.