We assign the Bubbletone project a "Positive" rating.
Bubbletone is a project for a global, decentralized telecommunication ecosystem. The team intends to market its service as an alternative to costly international roaming, so users can save considerably on calls and messages outside their home region. Interaction between all participants will be via blockchain. For the end-user, the service includes a messenger with advanced functionality.
The potential market for the project is the entire global market for roaming services. The project has a good chance of scaling, assuming high quality technical implementation. This implementation is the responsibility of a team whose experience and competence is confirmed and raises no doubts or concerns.
The potential refusal of large players in the market to accept this new technology, and their competition with Bubbletone, are risks for the project. The team plans to solve this problem gradually, firstly by targeting the more accepting market of MVNO operators and at the same time negotiating the use of a blockchain platform with larger operators.
General information about the Project and ICO
Bubbletone is a project for a decentralized telecommunication ecosystem designed to change the relationship between subscribers, mobile operators and providers of online services by means of the latest technologies, thereby providing an alternative to costly international roaming. The revolutionary solutions offered by the service will enable the project to reduce the cost of roaming, provide stable and high quality communication and internet connection, as well as save the time required to change operator and purchase a local SIM card. The fully-realized Bubbletone solution offers a possibility of utilising a tariff plan from local operators even if currently in the home region.
In addition to advantages for subscribers, the Bubbletone ecosystem will be of potential interest to telecoms operators:
- Large operators — due to a competitive service available at a price lower than the market through sales without intermediaries and reduced costs.
- To small and medium-level operators who are able to access foreign subscribers and compete with large roaming-business players.
Additionally, the project may arouse interest outside the telecoms sphere, as it provides access to business processes and a large client base of mobile subscribers.
The project team has been working in the telecoms business since 1997. Their portfolio includes an active virtual mobile communication operator and a working beta version of an application, the Bubbletone messenger. The aim of the ICO is not to develop the project from scratch, but to transfer accumulated experience and innovative technologies and solutions to the blockchain sector, with subsequent access to the global market. The team is focusing on further development of software and the marketing of a blockchain platform to global telecommunication service markets in accordance with the roadmap.
- Crowdsale – 50%
- Team & Community Development Fund – 7.8%
- Network Development Fund – 22%
- Founders – 20%
- Bounty – 0.2%
Any tokens unsold during the sale will be destroyed. Registration is required to participate in the ICO.
Total issuance: 1,000,000,000 UMT, no additional emission
Round 1: Pre-ICO Stage 1 (01.02.18–10.02.18)
Price: 0.00019 ETH
Minimum Buying Transaction: 1 ETH
Round 2: Pre-ICO Stage 2 (11.02.18–01.03.18)
Price: 0.00021 ETH
Minimum Buying Transaction: 1 ETH
Round 3: Pre-ICO Stage 3 (02.03.18–10.03.18)
Price: 0.00022 ETH
Minimum Buying Transaction: 1 ETH
Round 4: Public sale
Soft Cap: no data
Hard Cap: 25,000,000 $
Price: 0.00025 ETH
Minimum Buying Transaction: 0.1 ETH
Accepted currencies: BTC, ETH
Funds allocation: A percentage ratio is not specified, but it is known that:
- Network Development Fund tokens will be deposited to ensure the functioning of super-nodes.
- Team and Community Development Fund tokens will be used for ICO marketing, providing bonuses for owners of super-nodes, bonuses for the team, advisors, developers, and creating a reserve for the smooth execution of transactions.
- Most of the sum will be spent on global marketing and further product development according to the roadmap.
Vesting: 7% for Founders’ Fund
Description of the services and scope of the project
Bubbletone is a project aimed at providing global roaming services for local operator-level prices. The platform will enable users to avoid paying for costly roaming when leaving an area covered by their main operator, which should increase the number of people using mobile communication outside their home network, enabling more mobile operators regardless of their position in the market to provide services to travellers and tourists, and to gain access to other providers’ markets. The functionality should be considered separately from the point of view of 4 types of ecosystem member:
1. For mobile phone subscribers:
- The beta version of Bubbletone Messenger is currently available for download. Its current or planned functions (in addition to standard ones for this type of application - chats and group chats, audio and video calls, audio messages, sending stickers and animations, photos and video files) are complemented by call recording, using several devices for data transfer due to cloud storage, calls to landlines, requests for location of a subscriber or a contact list, messages deleted after reading, displaying standard SMS in the application, sending SMS in advance, sending large files, and holding video conferences. The main innovation after the integration of the application in blockchain will be the use of Bubbletone as an application, with which you can search for and manage the tariffs of different operators, save a phone number when changing a profile, acquire a virtual number, and obtain access to independent quality ratings for communications and services. Another great advantage in our opinion will be the ability to automatically switch between operators based on costs and quality of communication.
- A developing and already functioning platform for changing the profile of SIM-cards at a distance, including a certified application that enables you to change profile from ‘home’ to downloaded ones and back via choosing a different network, as well as to switch between home operators to improve communication quality. The project’s creators have announced that project partners in 80 countries are already providing users with a local rate service. The time saving factor means that you do not need to provide documents when registering a new SIM card, as customer data will already be logged, which also simplifies the process of transferring to a local operator. In addition, a multi-and crypto wallet will be created on the platform, for paying for communication services as well as to convert and transfer funds between users. We would like to point out that there is the existing practice of selling unregistered pre-paid sim-cards.
- For users of devices with eSim technology, meaning a full or partial rejection of the use of a SIM-card in the traditional sense, the Bubbletone ecosystem provides a possibility for selecting and switching between operators whilst preserving a number, and without having to contact a specific operator directly. Due to the creation of such a standard, a user will not depend on requirements of legislation when connecting, which is especially relevant for countries where using eSim will be legally prohibited. The company has announced the creation of a prototype of the global SIM-chip for embedding into mobile devices by 2019.
For users the program will provide a number of advantages; the key one is a significant reduction in the price of communication and internet access during travel, a wider range of tariffs and operators, via use of other operators’ markets, management charging and changing the operator using a mobile device. However, the project will have to compete with existing operators when traveling around a country where tariffs for roaming are either minimized or where roaming within the country is free, as well as with instant messaging services and making calls, as their use is of course free when connected to Wi-Fi; whose coverage, especially in popular tourist areas, is increasing.
2. For operators
- First of all, the service is potentially interesting to licensed mobile operators of small and medium size. Technical solutions will significantly simplify access to the roaming market for them by excluding financial and time costs required for a partial technical merger with other operators, testing and the conclusion of roaming agreements. Participation in the project ecosystem will enable them to provide a service for visitors without intermediaries and development of a sales network on a par with large local operators. Moreover, the project’s creators suggest that demand for communication services in travel will grow significantly at the expense of prices comparable to domestic level. The realization of these plans in our opinion will surely enable this market to be opened to a large number of telecom operators.
- For large operators, it is expected to reduce their costs for recruiting users and selling services.
- Bubbletone will definitely simplify operator-subscriber interaction in terms of connection speed by introducing automatic identification for users with digital cryptography-based identifiers.
- It may be attractive for operators to provide their subscribers with an own-branded version of Bubbletone Messenger.
The project team has elaborated on the concept and functionality of the ecosystem, citing advantages of use for operators of any level. However, this does not preclude possible difficulties in transitioning from roaming to this new ecosystem.
3. For third-party service developers
The project will act as a platform for application development and deployment. In this case, developers will have access to a large audience of clients of mobile operators excluding intermediaries, and secondly, to a fast and stable working blockchain platform with the ability to pay for services with local tokens. On the other hand, the existence of various services in the ecosystem that can be paid for, for example with UMT tokens earned, will increase user interest. The company has already announced co-operation with Lingualeo, a service for learning foreign languages.
4. For crypto community participants
- Bubbletone provides any token holder with the chance to own a license and process transactions in the system (essentially be a node), the growth of which is predicted by the team via increasing numbers of connections of operators and subscribers. Owners of servers performing transaction verification will earn UMT tokens.
- the facility to transfer cryptocurrency or fiat money to any subscriber worldwide.
- an opportunity to participate in and organize online voting, for example evaluating the quality of communication; votes will be fixed on the blockchain.
The choice of blockchain technology is not an accident. It is difficult to imagine the existence of such an ecosystem outside the blockchain sector. A single platform for mobile operators from different countries with different telecommunication legislation with simple integration and interaction using pre-set parameters, avoiding the problems of technical differences between companies, in our view could be possible outside blockchain only with a huge financial cost. Blockchain also offers advantages in the form of a single currency to pay for everything, the possibility to extend the functionality of the platform through third-party applications, digital user identification where only a primary validation is sufficient when connecting to a home network, as well as direct provision of ID services to an end user, bypassing any intermediaries.
In our opinion, the team made the right choice of software platform by selecting the Graphene Framework. This technology, based on open source code in C++, has scalability and high performance, supporting many times more transactions per second in comparison with equivalents.
A model for interaction of members of the ecosystem is presented in the documentation and is as follows:
There are around 5.134 billion unique mobile phone users in the world, and according to studies conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, in 2016 the total number of tourists was about 1.2 billion. Both these indicators are growing (the rate of growth of the market for mobile devices and of trips abroad), which determines market potential for the Bubbletone project. Assuming the implementation of their plans to the planned capacity, Bubbletone would be able to occupy an impressive share of the market for mobile services as a platform for integrating operators and customers.
Regarding mobile operators in the ecosystem, the number of potential partners is currently limited to about 1,200 according to data for 2014, including the sub-brands of some operators. The largest operator is the Chinese company China Mobile, with 887,200,000 registered subscribers as of December 2017. According to information in the project documentation, at the moment about 10 operators have already shown interest in the project and are ready to test the platform.
Bubbletone is essentially an innovative, exclusive product at the moment, with no direct competitors in the blockchain or telecom sectors. Bubbletone only competes with some companies in separate areas. The team itself identifies some competing structures in its white paper and provides a comparison:
We ourselves believe that competition for the Bubbletone project will arise from the following:
- First of all, popular applications for communication such as:
- Skype —providing communication services based on IP protocol (about 40% of the world market).
- WhatsApp — one of the most popular instant messaging platforms for mobile and other platforms with voice and video communication support (about 1.3 bln users).
- Telegram — a cross platform messenger gaining popularity, having a wide functionality.
The advantage of these programs is the provision of free services for high-quality communication and data transmission given internet access, easily available especially in popular tourist haunts. Not to mention home networks, where traffic used by these applications can be included in the tariff and not charged additionally.
- Secondly, regarding local SIMs, purchase of such cards is not difficult and does not require registration. For a certain category of travelers, whose share will decline over time, it would be easier to buy a SIM card than to deal with the new application and make payments on the system using cryptocurrency.
- We would also like to note that in the current period of popularization of blockchain technologies, Bubbletone is not and will not be the only project providing certain services to tourists by means of transferring applications to blockchain. For example, there is Tripally’s ICO, a project whose intention was to provide inexpensive mobile internet with unlimited traffic on trips without changing SIM card. Despite the fact that their ICO was not very successful, Tripally exemplify a project working in the same area.
Nevertheless, taking into account the above we positively assess the degree of development of Bubbletone’s project, its impressive functionality, and its plans for globalization. In our opinion, the project will be able to occupy a niche in the market when the team achieves its other goals.
Team and stakeholders
The project team has extensive experience in the telecom industry (more than 20 years’ worth). During this period, they have created several telecommunications and software development companies. These include the mobile virtual operator "Allo Incognito", serving more than 250,000 subscribers.
The white paper and the project website provide comprehensive information about team members, their experience and ambitions. In our opinion, the project team has sufficient technical and commercial experience in the telecommunications sphere. There are also blockchain-related employees in the team.
Key figures in this project are:
Yuri Morozov, Founder, CEO (LinkedIn), he is also the founder of 4 existing telecom companies. He graduated from RNRMU Moscow. Mr. Morozov has been involved in the Bubbletone project since September 2016, has been the chairman of the board of the Country Com group since 2002, and was also chief executive officer of Express Telecom from 1998 to 2002.
Oleg Pravdin, Telecom visionary (LinkedIn) is the founder of 3 startups in the USA, China and Russia.
He studied at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). He has been managing director at Bubbletone since September 2016; before this he was founder and chief executive officer of the ComfortWay platform (February 2012 to September 2016), and chief executive officer of MetroNet (February 2006 November 2012).
Fedor Rozhnov, CBDO, is a strategic developer in the telecom industry. He has implemented two MVNO projects in the Russian market, and has worked for Megafon, TranzitTelecom, CENTER2m and other companies.
Sergey Baloyan, CMO and Head of IR. An expert in ICO marketing and founder of the BountyHunters platform. Has realized more than 10 of his own projects, with experience working for large international companies such as LG International. Responsible for marketing and investor relations.
Sergey Sevancjan, a blockchain expert, advisor and ICO Supervisor has a higher education in the field of informatics and applied mathematics, has been developing IT technologies for more than 20 years including software, network technologies, system and network administration and project management. Previously, he worked at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Shell, Shire, GEA, Becton Dickinson projects). He is a technical specialist and "blockchain-evangelist" at Microsoft, Accenture and IBM; ICO Project Manager at Ambisafe (Silicon Valley), ICO Project Supervisor & Master scorer of a Major cryptofund (Aurora Blockchain Capital), Advisor, Public Keynote Speaker; Organizer and moderator of events, social engineer, business consultant, managing partner in the company IBW (Independent Blockchain World), founder and ideological mastermind of MBA (Masters of Blockchain Administration); Partner in the Ethereum Foundation Moscow.
The project involves more than 25 employees from different countries specializing in the development of IT projects and telecom applications, web design, marketing and blockchain. In our view, the project team has a high level of expertise and professional experience in their field, which will certainly assist them to successfully implement the project’s concept.
Within the framework of the Bubbletone platform two types of tokens will be released:
- SDR token is a token that is bound to the Special Drawing Rights Unit (an accounting unit developed by the International Monetary Fund for international payments and used by mobile operators for this purpose). SDR token is an internal component of the system; it is used only for payments by operators and service providers.
- UMT token — a utility token, listed in the course of the ICO with a fixed price. Tokens are listed within the SAFT agreement.
UMT tokens will be used to pay for communication services on the Bubbletone platform by depositing them to a user account in Bubbletone Messenger, as payment for sending messages and making voice calls over public telephone networks. A user can buy a UMT token with fiat money, cryptocurrency or SDR tokens. UMT-token will also be necessary for the execution of smart contracts on the Bubbletone Blockchain: Rewards for miners (nodes) will be nominated in UMT tokens.
The task of a node in the blockchain is to confirm all new transactions, add them to blocks and place blocks in the peer network. In order to confirm the status of a node, a deposit in UMT tokens is required to fulfill the proof-of-Importance (POI) consensus used on the platform. There are two levels on the platform: Super-node and Mini-node:
- A super-node is a high-performance server configured in a particular manner. To achieve the status of a super-node one needs to purchase 1 million UMT tokens. Super-nodes will receive 45% of commission for each transaction.
- Mini-node — any computing device, including a smartphone. Mini-nodes are designed to help a super-node with transaction processing. To obtain the status of a mini-node a deposit of 1000 UMT tokens is required. Mini-nodes will receive 30% of commissions.
The remaining 25% of commissions will be sent to the Community Development Fund, whose task is to monitor the development of the system and provide a liquidity reserve in UMT tokens. The Community Development fund will also be used to pay extra bonuses to owners of super-nodes.
Thus, when telecom operators exchange smart contracts that have information about subscribers and data about a payment in SDR-tokens, UMT tokens are "invested" in each transaction to pay rewards to nodes.
We consider it a good decision to introduce the SDR token with a fixed rate if we ignore the risks involved with the absence of legislation regarding tokens on legal balances at present.
The role of UMT tokens is more controversial. By and large SDR tokens if divisible could perform functions of UMT tokens, but in this case there would be neither speculative nor investment potential, which would prevent raising funds at the ICO. However, this does not mean that the UMT token is an unsuccessful solution. It could be viable and in demand if the team can develop user interfaces for token purchase.
Analysis of factors affecting future price of the token
According to the roadmap, the development phase will be completed between Q1 and Q4 2018. In 2019, the team will focus on finding partners and concluding partnership agreements with mobile operators. Accordingly, in 2019 it is fair to expect qualitative growth of infrastructural demand for UMT tokens.
In the short term, significant infrastructural demand will not likely appear, but it will not be zero either: Demand will arise as a result of concluded agreements (for example, the announced partnership with Lingualeo). Tokens can also be bought in order to create nodes.
In the long term, much will depend on the level of the project’s technical implementation. The idea itself could significantly modify the existing order in the industry. However, it is important that the project is accepted by big players in the market as well as users, which necessitates its quality and usability.
Investment risk analysis
Bubbletone is challenging from a technological point of view, so risks of a technological nature come to the forefront: whether the team can implement all its plans is currently impossible to predict. This risk is partially offset by the team's skills and experience.
The competitive risk and the risk of acceptance of the technology by key players in the market are also significant. The strongest competitors for Bubbletone will be existing messengers.
The question of acceptance of the technology will depend on lobbying opportunities. On the one hand, as long as users pay for expensive roaming tariffs, this is obviously beneficial to those who provide the service. On the other, the team plans to start market expansion primarily from MVNO operators, motivated by a chance to open inbound roaming and a quick, inexpensive way of obtaining outbound roaming for subscribers, which could offset any negative consequences.
Both physical users and legal entities are integrated into the Bubbletone tokenomy mechanism. Use of the tokens by legal entities is problematic at the moment, as it is unknown how the regulation of utility tokens will progress in the future.
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.