BnkToTheFuture Rating Review
|Start ICO||05 Feb 2018|
|End ICO||15 Feb 2018|
We have reviewed project's progress as of January 2019 and identified that the project's development is not in line with the roadmap, there is an available working product, however, the launch of tokenized securities is subject to significant legal risks at the moment, therefore project rating has been decreased to Risky+ (may be reassessed once regulatory framework is stabilized for tokenized securities)
The BnkToTheFuture ICO is a project for the creation of a crowdsourcing platform based on an existing business, introducing an ERC20 token. In a broad sense, BnkToTheFuture is not just another crowdsourcing platform. It is distinguished by a process of searching and analyzing projects for listing, which could be called decentralized owing to a mechanism that is completely open to anyone. Thus, by shifting the process of analyzing and supporting startups to the crowd, an interesting precedent is created for a platform maximally oriented to a wide range of investors. BnkToTheFuture functions not only as an ecosystem operator, but also the final decision maker on listing a project on the platform, the ultimate guarantor for quality and legal purity. Any project for potential listing on the platform passes through the filters of both the crowd and the company itself.
The very idea of the decentralization of expert judgment fits perfectly into the philosophy of blockchain. The consensus is solely responsible for decision making. In this sense, the future project token will play a key role in the functioning of the investment platform.
In addition to this non-standard idea, the founders have a background of high professionalism. In fact many customers have had the opportunity to participate in financing projects such as Bitpay, Kraken and ShapeShift via the BnkToTheFuture platform. Head of the company Simon Dixon is a well-known expert in the field of fintech and blockchain; a well-known founder is an indisputable strong point.
Low levels of marketing and coverage for the project as a whole could be potential disadvantages for BnkToTheFuture. The documentation also lacks some information and requires additional work.
General information about the Project and ICO
BnkToTheFuture is a project for creating a decentralized crowdsourcing platform and marketplace for tokenized shares, where startups will be able to offer investors the safest and most profitable investment tools via their ICO. The company proposes to concentrate all this on its own platform and to decentralize the listing process via the community, which will be stimulated to search for quality projects. The basis for the project is the BF Token (BFT) issued during the ICO; tokens are planned to be used as rewards for users and for subscription to services.
BnkToTheFuture has a seven-year history of operation in financial markets and in the crypto industry. The team began providing investment opportunities for startup investors through investment in shares. Later this evolved to the purchase of issued tokens on ICOs and token sales.
Currently, BnkToTheFuture claims a community of 47,500 professional investors. They also state that the platform has attracted $250 million over its full operational period via listed high-quality projects.
It should be noted that the team has not disclosed financial or other operational indicators in the documentation in sufficient quantity or dynamics to assess their reliability. However, the BnkToTheFuture.com portal is well-known among professionals and communities; projects listed on the platform are also widely known (Bitfinex, Kraken, ShapeShift). At least there is no doubt about the declared figures for funds raised.
The BnkToTheFuture team is also well known in the media - especially the head and the founder of the project, Simon Dixon. Frequent interviews online and in offline media [YouTube], articles and mentions, speeches at events [YouTube] - all this can be found in public access including www.simondixon.org. An indicator of the reputation and quality of the project is also its recognition by the professional community. A comment from Sir Richard Branson announced on the main page of the project is a good example.
The BFT ICO token is a standard ERC20 utility; it participates directly in the BnkToTheFuture ecosystem. The ICO structure presupposes a private presale in which only qualified investors are eligible (in accordance with the BnkToTheFuture.com methodology).
The crowdsale itself will be designed for non-US users, where an investor can buy tokens to the value of between $1,000-10,000; no more, no less. Given the huge difference in the ICO and presale hardcaps, the team is not seeking large revenues from a wide range of investors focusing on large capital. This is logical, since the platform has a good reputation among business angels.
There will be no bonuses during the ICO. The project team does not provide a standard diagram for the allocation of raised funds.
Start: Dec 5, 2017
End: Feb 1, 2018
Hard cap: $30,000,000
Price: 1 BFT = $0.10
Whitelisting: 6 - 13 Feb 2018
ICO start: 16 Feb 2018 until the hard cap is reached
Hard cap: $3,000,000
Price: 1 BFT = $0.10
Min (max) investment: $1000 - 10000
Token: BFT, standard ERC-20
Accepted payment: ETH
Total emission: 1,000,000,000 BFT
Allocation of funds:
33% - Token sale.
30% - Company Tokens (2 year lock-in)
20% - Rewards Pool.
10% - Advisors, Founders, Shareholders (1 year lock-in)
7% - Token Sale costs/expenses.
On sale: 330,000,000 BFT
Description of the services and scope of the Project
BnkToTheFuture is currently a platform for investing in crypto startups. The business case made by the founders at the ICO is designed to expand the functionality of the platform, allowing projects to solve problems in whole stages of their ICOs. Thus, BnkToTheFuture concentrates on two aspects of crowdfunding in the white paper:
Firstly, an innovative approach to the organization of token sales through the emission of Equity Backed Tokens is detailed. This aspect is not presented in detail, and represents the value for a certain group of investors (qualified); these tokens and this market will not be available to the general crowd. Qualified investors will be able to participate in due diligence, and they will also have access to the results of due diligence.
Secondly, it is planned to create an ecosystem where the community would participate in the search for, and analysis of, startups for listing on the platform - the crowdsourcing ecosystem. In this process, the role of BFT will be decisive - crowdsourcing services will be the main source of value for the token, creating demand in the market. We will go into detail about these services shortly.
For an ordinary visitor, BnkToTheFuture offers an opportunity for searching, offering, analyzing and supporting the listing of a project. BnkToTheFuture will pay rewards for this. The mechanism could be called bounty for services to the startup and BnkToTheFuture. Reward Pools for such a bounty are created from deductions by BnkToTheFuture and initially, from stored tokens from the ICO (20%). Some pools can also be created from project revenues.
In total, it is planned to create 4 pools for each of the above user activities: applications for listing, assessment of applications, due diligence and updates about projects. Let us consider each direction:
A user sources a startup and submits to the community and to BTF. To announce a startup on the platform, BFT tokens are required to be used; a two-week community vote is then started. If the project is of good quality and collects enough votes, it achieves the next stage of review/interview and voters receive a reward from the reward pool in proportion to their rate.
BTF itself can also announce a project and users can vote for it. Even with insufficient votes, BF may decide to move the project to the next stage regardless.
BTF rates are also available for qualified investors. Early access to a small portion of the issued project shares will be granted in proportion to the rate if granted.
The next stage of startup review includes a detailed review of the project by two groups of reviewers depending on the token amount bet: reviewers and Super-reviewers. Users answer questions about the quality of the project and its suitability for the platform, replies are received by super-reviewers for review. If the answers are of sufficient quality, the user receives a reward from the pool in proportion to the tokens bet; otherwise he loses a portion of his tokens.
Users can gain access to the research written on projects selected during the Community Assessment. Up to 3 members are selected from the applicants with a sufficient level of BFT. During the crowdsale, the investors evaluate the research and choose the most useful; as a result, the authors of these reports receive rewards from the pool according to their quality. The pool is also created by contributions from project co-founders, since they are interested in qualitative research (this scheme is essentially a bounty).
As part of this service, users are offered the opportunity to post links or third-party research on projects, publish related news, announcements and other items. As a result, user activity regarding a project generates an active news background for which posters receive a reward. BFT is required to publish third-party research and information. If a user has been selected as a news provider, this feature is assigned to him for a while. Rewards for users are created from the appropriate reward pool; however, this is specific to each project and the schedule of reward distribution is fixed for 5 years.
As indicated earlier, BnkToTheFuture platform users will be divided into qualified investors and ordinary participants. Obtaining the status of qualified investor opens up services unavailable for an ordinary participant and is possible after passing through identification and the provision of relevant information. The requirements for such an investor include competence, experience and capital.
A qualified investor can:
Participate in the marketplace for tokenized shares with minimal commissions.
Have priority access to transactions.
Have access to early participation in transactions.
The status of ordinary participant is available to anyone, but qualified investor status is restricted.
Access to all services will be achieved by staking BFT. The mechanism of rates is generally similar to a subscription, where completion occurs not after a time period but after actions taken, i.e. when staking tokens are spent on the platform. Staking tokens can be burned if the rules of the platform are violated.
The BnkToTheFuture platform was created for investing in startups. The team has a number of well-known projects such as Bitpay, Kraken, ShapeShift and Factom as well as others. Currently, the BnkToTheFuture track record looks impressive considering the growth of the whole crypto market, especially last year. According to the latest data from coinmarketcap.com, the market is consolidating around $600 bln and BTC Dominance is 33.4% [CoinMarketCap].
Blockchain technology itself is still very young and it still undergoes extensive approbation and constant reassessment from business, government regulators and investors. However, many researchers predict very good prospects for the market as a whole for the coming years. For example, Reportlinker expects that by 2023 the global blockchain market will exceed $6 trillion with CAGR about 48% in 2017-2023 [ReportLinker], colleagues from Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence expect $4.4 trillion by the end of 2022 with CAGR of 71.6% in 2017-2022 [Research and Markets]. Research published by Markets and Markets offers a more optimistic view, expecting an excess of $7.6 trillion in 2022 [MarketsAndMarkets].
Speaking about the development prospects of the main areas for blockchain application, an interesting table is given by BIS Research [BIS Research]. The main applications that will begin to give real benefits in reducing costs in the near future are KYC/AML, trade finance and p2p payments. Total profit for the fintech business from the implementation of blockchain systems will amount to $180 billion per year by 2022.
The breadth of blockchain’s scope is not limited to fintech. If we analyze the main ICOs in 2017, 30% of the total amount of raised funds was for fintech startups; other areas such as drugs and healthcare, gaming and VR and gambling can also be distinguished [Coinschedule].
The BnkToTheFuture platform helps a client to choose a quality product due to its in-depth expertise. Given that less than 10% of venture startups are successful [Forbes], ICO figures will probably be lower in the future. Accordingly, demand for expertise will remain high.
Currently, there are many ways of investing in crypto assets; moreover, there are many platforms that enable investments. BnkToTheFuture operates in a competitive environment but it should be noted that not all competitors are ensuring investments through their platform are the most transparent, legal and consistent with the rules set by national regulators.
In the white paper, BnkToTheFuture has compared their platform with a number of other projects enabling investments in interesting startups. Such names as tzero, Coin List, Funders Club and Angels List were considered as competitors. This list is likely not exhaustive but it reflects the variety of existing platforms. Moreover, the comparison is constructed in such a way that BnkToTheFuture is the undisputed leader among competitors.
If we look at the segment more widely, BnkToTheFuture like many are competing heavily for customers’ money in order for investments to be made through the proposed platform. In a broad context, if we focus on content rather than form, the BnkToTheFuture project has a number of large-size competitors, many of which can be found in the list of co-investors in the venture capital market. Among them are Pantera Capital, DCG, Blockchain Capital and others.
If an investor consults third-party expertise and plans to invest in proposed projects, he often does not care whether he does it himself through a platform or joins the fund. The choice of the investor in any case is a matter of trust and BnkToTheFuture’s offer is to make such trust more "reliable".
BnkToTheFuture is headed by Simon and Bliss Dixon. This pair is well known in the crypto community for working together on the BnkToTheFuture investment platform and via media coverage of Simon Dixon.
Simon Dixon, CEO & Co-founder
Simon Dixon is an ex-investment banker turned Bitcoiner & author of the book 'Bank to the Future'. An active FinTech, Blockchain & Bitcoin angel investor with investments in Bitfinex, BitPay, Unocoin, Kraken, BitPesa, BitStamp and over 100 others.
You will find Simon regularly quoted & appearing in much of the major press & media including BBC, FT, CNBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal to mention a few.
Bliss Dixon, COO & Co-founder
Bliss Dixon is the COO and Co-founder of BnkToTheFuture. Her last corporate job was working in the retail banking division. After years of experience in management and HR in a previous role prior to her last corporate job, Bliss became the company secretary for a startup operating an online investment banking training company. After gaining experience in a startup company and building virtual teams, Bliss co-founded BnkToTheFuture focusing on the operations, HR, legal and risk side of the business, having spent the early part of her education studying law. Also an active investor alongside Simon in FinTech, Blockchain & Bitcoin angel investor with investments in Bitfinex, BitPay, Unocoin, Kraken, BitPesa, BitStamp and over 100 others.
More detail at: Linkedin
Unfortunately, we could not obtain detailed information about the rest of the project team. We hope that the founders have sufficient experience to select the right people for the realization of all the plans conceived.
Fahmida Beghan - Investor Relations
Aga Saganowska - Project Manager
Pawel Slowik - Lead Developer
Rafal Kostansk - Senior Developer
Dawid Ratka - Senior Developer
Antoni Pstras - Developer
Mateusz Wilczynsk - Developer
Irvin Htay Myint - Pitch Coordinator
Not every team member is represented here. The documentation states that there are currently 25 people working on the project. Their locations are quite wide: Britain, Poland, the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong and the USA.
BnkToTheFuture has attracted a fairly extensive list of advisors. Many of them do not require separate presentation and they are perfectly familiar among the community. Therefore, we list them without regalia.
Vinny Lingham - Co-founder & CEO Civic, Identity/KYC Advisor
Bill Barhyd - CEO Abra
Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar - CEO & Co-founder, RSK
Michael Terpin - CEO Transform Group, CoinAgenda, BitAngels
Sunny Ray - President Unocoin
David Johnston - Chairman Factom Co-founder BitAngels
Li Huo - Director Huobi.pro
Adam Vaziri - Blockchain Lawyer & Director, Diacle
Jonathan Smith - Co-founder & CTO of Civic, Identity/KYC Advisor
Brian Lio - CEO, Smith + Crown
Matt Chwierut - Researcher Smith & Crown
Tony Simonovsky - CEO InsightCryp.to
David Drake - Chairman LDJ Capital
The BFT token issued at the ICO is a typical utility token without any special functionality, except for its requirement for transactions and mechanisms in the crowdsourcing ecosystem.
The final mechanisms for calculation of the cost of services, rewards for searches and analysis of projects, secondary market commissions, etc., are given in the documentation. Mechanisms differ for different skills:
This service provides voting for projects by betting on BFT. The maximum bet is $10, with voting decreasing for each vote down to a minimum, so early voters will receive a higher reward. Accessing the service will also cost $10.
The size of the token bet differs depending on status: reviewers ($50-100) and Super-reviewers ($1000). The reward depends on the quality of answers given’ it is determined through general assessment of the answers.
For requesting a deposit, a bet of $50-500 BFT is required; success will depend on the number of tokens bet. Further, the community determines the most valuable reviews; this determines any reward or loss of tokens.
For the opportunity to publish third-party research and information about projects, participants need to bet $50. There is no other expenditure involved.
A subscription mechanism for services for qualified investors is also present; the mechanism of operation and its costs are not disclosed. In general, many calculated indicators such as the size of reward pools, bets for subscription to services, etc. will be determined by BF in a particular order. There is no need to talk about decentralization but its advantages are irrelevant here.
Analysis of factors affecting the future value of the token
The BFT Token, being a utility token. dependent on the functioning of the crowdsourcing platform, primarily reflects the success of the business model chosen by the team and the popularity of the platform with the global community. At the same time, filling the search ecosystem, analyzing projects and creating information density is impossible without a large number of quality fintech startups present. Here we should discuss not only the ICO but also venture projects, since the team is likely to reorient to a format of direct investment, in the event of the collapse of the ICO market. Thus, the success of the platform and token depends on the state of the crypto industry and crypto investments, as well as on the scope of startup projects.
Since the platform ecosystem is closely tied to a combination of community activities and large capital (qualified investors), it is important to maintain a balance between them. In terms of qualified investors, BF already has a background and a pool of customers; the team will not have problems in this area. The community can be easily attracted assuming the relevance of the platform to startup projects, which will be attracted by the presence of potential investors.
The value of the token in the short term will be seriously affected by the amount of funding raised at the presale, since strong indicators assure the wider community that there is serious interest from the professional community. The roadmap will be another positive factor for launching the full functionality of the developed platform.
In particular, the team cites a technical roadmap in the documentation, which serves as the overall roadmap for the project in 2018. Events are grouped quarterly; based on the data it can be seen that in the second quarter the functionality will be ready for search and analysis of startups. A tokenized securities marketplace with the first two pilot versions on the secondary market will be launched in the 3rd quarter.
Given the close terms of the roadmap, the process of developing and launching the platform will directly affect the value of BFT in the short and medium term.
For long-term success of the BF project and BFT tokens, we see significant potential in the team's proposed crowdsourcing platform and asset marketplace. The decentralized nature of research and analysis of projects in a bounty format could be more effective than hiring experts; the development of a tokenized securities marketplace will set a precedent for the industry, since there is no completely legal platform in this area which can combine legal security for investors in stocks with the advantages of token investments.
In general, as the crypto industry develops and legal regimes spread to the crypto economy, those who are legally prepared participants may be at the forefront of development. BF is one such example; although the project does not have a perfectly described business model, the background and professionalism of the team cannot be ignored.
Investment risk analysis
The BnkToTheFuture project could be called unique as it suggests revising the whole approach to expert judgment. In the spirit of blockchain, if no one needs to trust anyone, there should be no authority in judgment. In that case an investment platform with a decentralized selection of startups for investing venture capital is achieved.
Hence there is a principal risk regarding whether such an approach would actually be in demand. People often seek authority and willingly buy success stories. Many are happy that their money is managed by Warren Buffett or George Soros, and a certain consensus devalues the significance of a particular decision and evens out responsibility. Again, BnkToTheFuture perfectly fits the blockchain philosophy.
One of the tasks BnkToTheFuture is working on is maintaining acceptance by jurisdictions and regulators. It can be seen that the platform is oriented towards serious investors who value their reputation and investment security. Here we can see the industry-wide risk of this young market, where there are still very short horizons for forecasts.
The apparently careless attitude of the founders towards marketing and project management is rather concerning. Showing good potential and an objective background, the project is seemingly inconsistent; it seems that marketing has still not reached an active phase. Perhaps the project has secured the support of a certain range of investors and it does not depend on the mood of the crowd so much. But objectively the team could contribute more to the promotion of the project.
We should again emphasize the competitive environment. Investment platforms are developing, funds are developing, exchanges are also developing and customer preferences are not predictable at this stage.