Ankr Network Rating Review

Stable

Investment Rating

Expire date: 11.10.2018


Based on the analysis we decided to assign ANKR Network a “Stable” rating. However, we would like to note that without the ICO details and token metrics, it is difficult to fully assess the project’s true potential.
The project has the following strengths:
● Participating in a significant and fast-growing market (the blockchain industry).
● Innovative blockchain solution (resource-efficient mining scheme based on Proof of Useful Work, scalable blockchain framework using the Multi-chain Plasma protocol).
● Unlocked the massive marketing potential of the project (to connect blockchain with applications such as Facebook messenger and WeChat).

However, there are still some risks linked with this ICO:
 

Absence of an MVP

At the time of analysis (June 2018), the team had not yet released an MVP/beta. The absence of an MVP seriously compromises the ability to assess the team’s competencies, the capabilities of the suggested product, the degree of product development and other crucial factors that investors in an ICO must consider before making any decision to invest. Once the MVP/beta is released, and the team’s progress is made clearer, the level of risk may go down.

Incomprehensive roadmap

The project roadmap presented on the website does not contain any events after the prototype release in July 2018, so it is unclear when the team is planning to hold the public ICO and no information about product releases, marketing and business development activities, etc. is provided, which increases the risk for potential investors.

Commercial risks

Given that competition is increasing amongst blockchain platform projects and the majority of ANKR Network’s competitors have scheduled their product launches for during 2018-2019, we feel that potential investors should consider the commercial risk associated with the project. Additionally, there is no information available at the moment regarding the dates when the ANKR Network’s products will be launched.

Team composition and competence

We note that 2 team members do not state that they are working on the ANKR Network project in their official LinkedIn profiles and two team members are also currently working in other companies, which increases the team risk for potential investors. Furthermore, the project advisors do not state their affiliation with the project on their official LinkedIn profiles. It is also worth noting that two of the Co-Founders, Chandler Song and Ryan Fang, have recently graduated and do not have much long-term work experience. Stanley Wu is the most experienced Co-Founder with 10 years work experience as a Software Engineer at Amazon. Yan Ji is a PhD Student of blockchain and cryptography, and only Akash Khosla has blockchain experience.

The whitepaper is incomprehensive

The following issues are present in the whitepaper:
• Absence of direct competitor analysis.
• Unclear ICO details and token metrics.
• Unclear token and project economics. It is unclear how the project will be monetized once released.
• There is no link to the whitepaper on ANKR Network’s website
We note that ANKR Network has a comprehensive and detailed whitepaper when it comes to the technical features of the project. However, the absence of the MVP, as of June 2018, makes the assessment of the project’s services and platform almost impossible, and significantly increases the level of risk for potential investors.
Based on our analysis and taking into consideration all of the risks associated with the ANKR Network project, as of June 2018, we decided to assign ANKR Network a “Stable” rating. We would like to note that once the major issues are resolved by the team (i.e. updated whitepaper published, MVP/beta released, etc.), the project rating will need to be reassessed as the risks linked to it may change.

ANKR Network proposes a permissionless, resource efficient and scalable blockchain network with a native data feed, that enables distributed cloud computing and allows interaction with existing data solutions.

Website

Whitepaper

Telegram

LinkedIn

Medium (not working)

GitHub

We note that although the company has an official account on GitHub, the smart contract code as of the date of analysis (June 2018) is not publicly available, which makes it impossible draw conclusions regarding the significant ICO terms fixed in the contract.

 

Private sale

ICO (public sale)

Start date

No data (ongoing)

No data

End date

No data

No data

Stage cap

No data

No data

Token

No data

Token supply (for sale/total)

worth USD 53.17 million

Soft cap

Not specified

Hard cap

USD 15.95 million

Estimated market value[1]

USD 53.17 million

Token price

No data

No data

Bonus

20%

No data

Lock-ups

6 months

No data

Minimum investment

No data

No data

Maximum investment

No data

No data

Currencies accepted

No data

Restricted list

USA, Canada, China, South Korea, Barbados, other FATF countries like Ethiopia, Iraq, Serbia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Yemen, Iran, North Korea

KYC procedures

No data

Country of legislation

Barbados

 

There is no bounty program for the ANKR Network project.

We draw attention to the fact that to date[2] there is no publicly available contract code. Although it is acceptable to publish the smart contract code not long before the ICO, however, the official dates of the ICO are unclear and need to be announced. According to the team, the details of the public sale and whitelist will be released once the pre-sale is finished.

Furthermore, at the time of our analysis there was no MVP available. But, according to the project roadmap the prototype is due to be released in July 2018.

Also, despite the information given in the whitepaper[3] and on the website, there is nothing about token metrics. According to information provided by the team, the private pre-sale, with 20% bonuses and a 6 month lock-up period, is currently ongoing and is only open to strategic partners. The total Hard cap is said to be USD 15.95 million, which is 30% of the total token supply. Additionally, we note that the proceed allocation scheme is also not clear.

Given the incomplete information in the publicly available sources, it is impossible to draw a conclusion regarding the token and project economics, project development plans, and dates of final product releases, all of which significantly increases the level of risk for potential investors.

 

 


[1] Value of 100% of the tokens at ICO price.

[2] 5th of June 2018.

[3] Preliminary draft as of 25th of April 2018.

The team provides the following project roadmap:
 
At the time of writing (June 2018) no MVP was available. The project’s roadmap says that a prototype is to due be released in July 2018. 
We note that the project roadmap, presented on the website, does not contain any events after the prototype release in July 2018, so it is unclear when the team is planning to hold the public ICO and no information about product releases, marketing and business development activities, etc. is given, which increases the risk for potential investors.

ANKR Network provides a computational, resource-efficient blockchain and an integrated data feed system which leverages both cryptographic primitives and trusted hardware.
The ANKR Network blockchain provides the following innovative solutions:
Proof of Useful Work (PoUW) – Provides high security standards without wasting energy, allows for a self-sustainable blockchain framework, and forms a decentralized super-CPU. This means, excessive computational resources can be monetized and further sold to internal or external applications for useful works such as training a neural network and even hosting web services.

Native data feed – A standardized API enables simple real-world business adoption. The protocol for the data feed includes the following:
• Initiate data request
• Monitor and relay
• Fetch data feed
• Response

Multi-chain Plasma – This allows different applications to use specific smart contracts on individual child chains, preventing transactions from overloading the PoUW-based main chain. Here, Plasma is a protocol, which allows the building of an unlimited number of blockchains that are supervised by ANKR’s main chain.
ANKR’s main chain is the backbone of the entire system and has the following features:
• Child chain indexing
• Useful work mining
• Smart contract executions

Potential use cases can be categorized as follows:
• Low transaction volume but high transaction amount, such as Real Estate.
• High transaction volume but low transaction amount, such as E-commerce.
• Real-time requests and responses, such as the Prediction Market.

We also believe that the whitepaper has the following issues:
• Absence of direct competitor analysis.
• Unclear ICO details and token metrics.
• Unclear token and project economics. It is unclear how the project will be monetized once released.
We note that the ANKR Network has a comprehensive and detailed whitepaper when it comes to the technical details of the project. However, the absence of an MVP, as of June 2018, makes the assessment of the project’s services and platform almost impossible, and significantly increases the level of risk for potential investors.
 

5.1 Market analysis

According to Gartner the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 21.4% in 2018 to a total of USD 186.4 billion, up from a total of USD153.5 billion in 2017.

And the fastest-growing segment of the market is the cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service or IaaS), which is forecasted to grow 35.9% in 2018, to reach a value of USD 40.8 billion .
For the purposes of analysis of the macro-level factors affecting the ANKR Network project a modified PESTEL framework will be used. The PESTEL framework analyzes the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors of a project. As far as blockchain projects are concerned, the Environmental and Social factors are usually not applicable or at least have a relatively small impact.
Political – Infrastructure blockchain projects like ANKR Network usually do not bear any political risks.
Economic – The market niche of infrastructure blockchain platforms is significant and the projects concerned usually demonstrate good performance in terms of economics.
Technological factors – Given the youthfulness of the blockchain market as a whole, the development of infrastructure blockchain platforms is a good idea as the market needs such solutions at its development stage.
Legal – Infrastructure blockchain projects like ANKR Network usually do not bear legal risks.
 

5.2 Competitive landscape

We will use Porter’s Five Forces framework to perform an initial competition assessment for ANKR Network.
Threat of new entrants - High
The overall threat of new entrants is high, as new infrastructure projects in blockchain come out very often and the market is not yet full. The level of competition is rising gradually and whoever captures the platform possesses a greater chance of becoming the future blockchain giant.
Threat of substitutes - Medium
The threat of substitutes is medium, as new infrastructure platforms are released often, but transition from one to another is not an easy process.
Bargaining power of customers - Low
The key advantage of the ANKR Network project is the resource-efficient blockchain framework that truly enables decentralized cloud computing and provides a user-friendly infrastructure for business applications.
Bargaining power of suppliers - Low
Since there is only labor (developers) and industry partners (and maybe node holders) on the supply side for the ANKR Network project, the bargaining power of suppliers can be assessed as being relatively low.
Industry rivalry - High
As of June 2018, ANKR Network had some direct competitors in the blockchain market and some indirect competitors too, please refer to the summary table below:
 

 

ANKR Network

Dfinity

SONM

Dadi

Google Cloud

Project type

Infrastructure

Infrastructure

Infrastructure

Infrastructure

Infrastructure

Key functions / features

Proof of Useful Work (PoUW), native authenticated data feed and multi-chain Plasma

Unlimited capacity, interoperable, self-governing

Fog computing, P2P networking stack, overlay networking, kubernetes

Stargates, Gateways and Hosts Stargates, Gateways and Hosts

Serverless computing, hybrid cloud, speed and security

Key users

Developers, enterprises

Developers, enterprises

Developers, users, enterprises

Developers, users, enterprises

Developers, enterprises

Development stage

No MVP

Copper stage

Arbitrage and various features pack (former v0.5 “VIRT”)

Beta release: Mainnet

Released

ICO status

Private sale ongoing

N/A

ICO ended

ICO ended

N/A

Capitalization

(as of ICO date/Hard cap)

No data/ USD 15.95 million

USD 4 million/ n/a

USD 42 million / N/A

USD 29 million / USD 28.8 million

N/A

Market capitalization[1]

USD 53.2 million

USD 1.9 billion

USD 5.9 million

USD 15.1 million

N/A

Product launch

No data

N/A

Q3 2018

Q4 2018

N/A

 

 


[1] As of June 05, 2018. ANKR Network – 100% of tokens worth.

As of June 2018, the market for ANKR Network was very competitive. Specifically, Dfinity claims to be the third generation of blockchain technology, with more advanced smart contracts and the ability to access unlimited computational processing and storage through an intelligent decentralized cloud, however, they have incredibly complicated documents, blogs and interviews which makes this technology difficult to understand and inaccessible to most. Among the strengths of the SONM project are the market pricing for computing capacities and the potential huge computing capacity, but there are some drawbacks in processing speed and security. While DADI has demonstrated versatility and a diverse use applications of its web services, switching over a vital infrastructure from well-established and assuredly reliable tech services poses a lot of risk for enterprises. Compared to decentralized cloud computing, Google Cloud is one of the top three centralized platforms, which is also the fastest among those three, however, its Cloud Datastore is very feature-limited and hard to switch out.
While the competitors are all trying to solve the same problems related to blockchain technology, ANKR Network aims to address the following challenges: the massive waste of electricity, the lack of reliable and efficient data feed services to connect businesses to the blockchain and the lack of scalability. Given the aforementioned issues, ANKR Network introduces innovative solutions described in the project’s whitepaper to try and solve these issues. However, at the time of our analysis, there was no MVP and the project’s product release dates were unclear, which raises the level of risk for potential investors.

We identified the following key factors that may affect the token price:

Factor

Description

Price effect

Development and release of new products according to the roadmap

We note that in the roadmap there is no information about when the project’s products will be released, so it is impossible to draw a conclusion regarding the possible changes in price as a result of product development and their subsequential release.

Not assessed

Demand for the platform

Given that the ANKR Network platform is an infrastructural platform, the long-term demand for the platform may cause the token price to rise or fall.

Sales of tokens by the team, advisors and contributors

As there is no information about token distribution among the team, advisors and contributors, it is impossible to draw conclusion about their influence on changes in price.

Not assessed

Significant bonuses during private sale round

At the time of analysis, the private pre-sale was ongoing, with 20% bonuses and a 6 month lock-up period. According to the team the total Hard cap for the project is USD 15.95 million. The intermediate results of the pre-sale round are not available at the moment, so it is unclear what amount of funds (and bonuses) were raised so far.

Token inflation mechanism

Since the details about further token supply are not described in the whitepaper or on the website, it is impossible to draw any conclusion regarding the token inflation mechanism.

Not assessed

Volatility and immaturity of cryptomarket

Although the token lacks speculative purposes, it is used as an internal payment mechanism within the system, therefore high volatility in the crypto markets may cause traders and speculative investors to trade ANKR tokens, which may result in price fluctuations or even speculative activities (pump and dump, etc.).

We note that after the ICO several new team members joined the team:

Chandler Song

Position

Founder, CEO & Product Manager

Total experience

2+ years

Relevant experience

2+ years

(Software Engineering)

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

1 publication

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Stanley Wu

Position

Co-Founder & CTO

Total experience

10+ years

Relevant experience

10+ years

(Software Engineering)

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

2

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

 

Ryan Fang

Position

Co-Founder & COO

Total experience

3+ years

Relevant experience

3+ years

(Investment analyst)

Relevant education

No

(Business Administration)

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Song Liu

Position

Chief Security Engineer

Total experience

6+ years

Relevant experience

6+ year

(Software Engineering)

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-.

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

210

Endorsements / Recommendations

No



 

Quanlai Li

Position

Blockchain Engineer

Total experience

3+ years

Relevant experience

3+ years (Software Engineering)

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

2 publications

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes


 

Yan Ji

Position

Scientist

Total experience

2+ years

Relevant experience

2+ years

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

73

Endorsements / Recommendations

No





 

Akash Khosla

Position

Blockchain Engineer

Total experience

1+ years

Relevant experience

1+

(Software Engineering)

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

 

Stephen Liu

Position

Blockchain Researcher

Total experience

1+ years

Relevant experience

1+ year (Information security)

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

46

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes





 

Rahim Noorani

Position

Business Development

Total experience

4+ year

Relevant experience

4+ year (Research)

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

294

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Yige Liu

Position

UI Designer

Total experience

-

Relevant experience

-

Relevant education

-

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

-

Connections

-

Endorsements / Recommendations

-

 

Fansheng Cheng

Position

Software Engineer Intern

Total experience

1+ year

Relevant experience

1+ year

(Software Engineering)

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

-

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

6

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Advisors

 

Jiangang Zhang (JZ)

Position

Technology Advisor

Total experience

15+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Professional achievements

1 patent

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

304

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes

 

Christel Quek

Position

Marketing Advisor

Total experience

8+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Relevant education

No (Geography)

Professional achievements

11 publications

LinkedIn

Yes

Connections

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

Yes



 

Based on our analysis we identified the following investment risks associated with the ANKR Network project:

Risk

Description

Level

Absence of MVP

At the time of analysis (June 2018), the team had not yet released an MVP/beta. The absence of an MVP seriously compromises the ability to assess the team’s competencies, the capabilities of the suggested product, the degree of product development and other crucial factors that investors in an ICO must consider before making any decision to invest. Once the MVP/beta is released, and the team’s progress is made clearer, the level of risk may go down.

High

Incomprehensive roadmap

 

We draw attention to the fact that the project roadmap, presented on the website, does not contain any events after the prototype release in July 2018, so it is unclear when the team is planning to hold the public ICO and no information about product releases, marketing and business development activities, etc. is provided, which increases the risk for potential investors.

High

Commercial risks

Given that the level of competition is increasing among blockchain platform projects and the majority of ANKR Network’s competitors have scheduled their product launches for during 2018-2019, we feel that potential investors should consider the commercial risk associated with the project. Additionally, there is no information available at the moment regarding the dates when ANKR Network’s products will be launched.

Medium

Team composition / competence

We note that 2 team members do not state that they are working on the ANKR Network project in their official LinkedIn profiles, two team members are also currently working in other companies, which increases the team risk for potential investors. Furthermore, project advisors do not state their affiliation with the project on their official LinkedIn profiles.

It is also worth mentioning that two of the Co-Founders, Chandler Song and Ryan Fang, have recently graduated and do not have much long-term work experience. Stanley Wu is the most experienced Co-Founder with 10 years work experience as a Software Engineer at Amazon. Yan Ji is a PhD Student of blockchain and cryptography, and only Akash Khosla has blockchain experience.

Medium

Incomprehensive whitepaper

 

We also believe that the whitepaper has the following issues:

• Absence of direct competitor analysis.

• Unclear ICO details and token metrics.

• Unclear token and project economics. It is unclear how the project will be monetized once released.

We note that ANKR Network has a comprehensive and detailed whitepaper when it comes to the technical features of the project. However, the absence of an MVP, as of June 2018, makes the assessment of the project’s services and platform almost impossible, and significantly increases the level of risk for potential investors.

Medium

The information contained in the document is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this document are solely personal stance of the ICOrating Team, based on data from open access and information that developers provided to the team through Skype, email or other means of communication.

Our goal is to increase the transparency and reliability of the young ICO market and to minimize the risk of fraud.

We appreciate feedback with constructive comments, suggestions and ideas on how to make the analysis more comprehensive and informative.