Hacken Rating Review
|Start ICO||29 Oct 2017|
|End ICO||28 Nov 2017|
We assign the Hacken project a “Stable+” rating.
Hacken has a simple and understandable idea, the implementation of which will help solve problems of cybersecurity arising when conducting business transactions, and reduce cybercrime.
As the main driver for the growth of the HKN token price, we cite the internal fundamental value of the token, incorporated in the developed economic model. Thanks to this model the token looks attractive for long-term investment.
The project has a strong team and advisors. The founders have extensive experience in the field related to the main direction of the project. In addition, we note that some aspects of the project are more transparent than average in the ICO market, which can also be an evidence of a high level of management for investors. The project enters a rapidly growing but competitive market. Competition is a risk for this project.
We also draw investors' attention to the absence of any comments on the marketing strategy to be implemented after the ICO in the documentation. This information is dealt with very superficially.
These risks do not permit assigning a higher rating to the project; but at the same time, no significant additional risks have not been identified.
General information about the Project and ICO
Hacken is an Ethereum-based trading platform in the field of cybersecurity services, which includes a number of services designed to find vulnerabilities, discover young talent and assist in the development of start-ups in the field of cybersecurity.
The main idea of the Hacken platform is the creation of a European cybersecurity center that can detect vulnerabilities in software and help counter international cybercrime.
The project aims to attract ethical hackers to the platform (White Hat) for official legitimate work and create a developed expert community in the field.
Slack: No information
Twitter (1637 followers)
Telegram (430 members)
Facebook (2003 followers)
Steemit (87 followers)
Reddit (112 followers)
Medium (259 followers)
YouTube (126 subscribers)
Smart contract platform: Blockchain Ethereum
ICO start date: 31/10/2017 0:00 EET
ICO end date: 30/11/2017 0:00 EET
Accepted payment: BTC, ETH, DASH, LTC, USD, EUR, TaaS.
Total emission: 20,000,000 HKN
Min transaction amount:1 ETH.
Max transaction amount: No.
During pre-sale and main tokensale
Pre-sale – 30%
At the pre-ICO stage, which took place in October this year, more than 800 Eth worth of tokens were placed during 5 days.
During the ICO:
- 1-4 hours – 25%
- Day 1-2 – 20%
- Day 3-7– 15%
- Week 1-2– 10%
80% of the collected funds are stored in a deposit account. Currently, the draft budget for the creation and promotion of the platform is under development. In the near future, investors will be shown several scenarios for the distribution of funds, depending on the outcome of the crowdsale.
Project services and their usage
The ecosystem of Hacken includes the following services:
I. HackenProof – a platform for finding vulnerabilities in client software. The interaction between client and the platform is as follows:
- The client takes out a subscription to the vulnerability scan program and configures a number of settings independently. Hacken experts help customers install software for discovering vulnerabilities, depending on client budget and knowledge level.
- Hacken community members search for vulnerabilities and their priority levels; after the search is completed, a report is provided that is checked for relevance and originality. After that, community members receive a fee for finding valuable vulnerabilities. At the request of the client, he is provided with advice on the development of countermeasures.
- The client receives a vulnerability certificate based on blockchain technology, which proves the client’s software verification by the Hacken community. In addition, the client can request the inclusion of a "countermeasures" section in the certificate, reflecting problems that were detected and corrected. After this a client will be able to set privacy preferences for the certificate - to make the information publicly available, or accessible just to a narrow circle (clients, investors, etc.)
The interaction scheme can be described as follows:
After the launch of the platform, money-back guarantee functionality will be developed - another option purchased by the client for a fee. This mechanism is discussed in more detail in the "Project economy" chapter.
II. Analytical Center – a group of analysts engaged in research, as well as monitoring and auditing products in the field of cybersecurity. Areas of research are the following:
- Security of the blockchain, vulnerabilities and countermeasures.
- Classification, research and comparison of products in the cybersecurity market.
- Cryptography, secure communication and data protection.
- Big Data analytics and visualization in cybersecurity.
The center will be headed by the best team-winner of various CTF competitions and international advisors. The team will develop the infrastructure and framework solutions to investigate various cybersecurity products. In addition, the analytical center is planning to conduct internships for students from different countries; they will mainly be finalists and winners of the HackIT Conference.
III. Business Accelerator Hacken – a program to support start-ups in the field of cybersecurity for the best and most responsible members of the community.
With the help of the analytical center and its marketing platform, Hacken will train accelerator participants to develop strategies for entering the market, and to study the competition and develop unique trading offers for customers. The selection of start-ups will be implemented by a Cybersecurity Council and computer technology experts.
The plan is to attract investors to finance accelerator participants’ start-ups. These investments will be profitable for investors since Hacken will co-finance promoted start-ups, and therefore any project under the accelerating program will be carefully selected by business accelerator specialists before financing.
IV. Zero-Day Platform. Within a year after the tokensale (assuming that 10ml HKN Token are sold), a remuneration fund is planned for the identification of Zero-Day vulnerabilities.
V. The HackIT Conference - annual international forum on cybersecurity held in Ukraine. In addition to communication, HackIT holds competitions on cybersecurity for forum participants. Participation in competitions is free of charge.
Competitions consist of the following events:
- HackIT CTF (Capture the Flag) – hackers compete in eight categories: Web, Misc, Joy, Crypto, PWN, Reverse, Forensics and Stego. The team that earns the most points wins. The results are published in a CTFTime rating.
- "Battleofthehackers"consists of 2 parts:
- In the first half of the competition a qualifying round is held, during which participants solve cyber security tasks within a 30 minute time limit. Participants who score the maximum number of points pass through to the final.
- The final is held in the second half of the conference. The finalists from the qualifying round must solve cybersecurity problems in real time; images of their monitors are broadcasted for spectators in e-sports style.
- Cyberdetective OSINT – fulfillment of information search tasks via open sources - social media, various public databases and search engines.
- HackIT Cup – a competition between finalists from the HackIT CTF – the 30 best competitors compete in a vulnerabilities search in web applications, API, mobile and cloud platforms. In addition, they are invited to participate in a private vulnerability scanning program with instant payment.
Development strategy and Roadmap
The development has taken place in closed mode; there are no repositories available on the GitHub website. The code is planned to be made open on October 30, 2017.
HKN is an Ethereum blockchain-based cryptographic token using the ERC20 standard. Token storage is available in Ethereum wallets compatible with this standard, for example, Jaxx, MyEtherWallet, etc. The token is divisible; it can be divided into 8 decimal places; the minimum fraction is 0.00000001 HKN. A diagram of interaction between a client and all nodes of the platform is given below:
The HKN token is focused primarily on professionals and projects in the field of cybersecurity; each tokenholder becomes a member of the community and uses the tokens to interact with other platform participants.
For the HackenProof service, the Hacken and Blockchain interaction framework is as follows:
A total of 4 blocks are recorded in the chain:
- The client signs an agreement to participate in the vulnerability search campaign
- The Hacken team creates an appropriate block that contains product data, a terms of service agreement and a timestamp.
- The next block of the chain will contain information about detected vulnerabilities in the search process. This block is individual to each client.
- The client removes the detected vulnerabilities.
- HackenProof experts conduct audits based on the results of research, after which a client discusses the conclusions and receives recommendations on additional measures to be taken.
- If the audit results are acceptable to both parties, the next block containing information about the problems eliminated is created.
Based on the results of the research, the client receives a report on all detected and eliminated vulnerabilities with a timestamp for each event, along with a certificate.
Development strategy and Roadmap
The ultimate goal of the Hacken project is to create a generation of hackers for whom identifying and searching for vulnerabilities, testing and excluding intrusions is normal and the only acceptable scenario in life.
The primary goal of the project is the launch, promotion, support and development of all services of the platform. The founders are intending to achieve these goals within the next three years.
The stages of development of various services in percentage terms are given below.
The project team ranks its goals by amount of funds raised during the ICO.
According to the founders, the implementation of the project will occur according to the developed roadmap in a timely manner regardless of the number of tokens sold:
- HackenProof Marketplace – Q4 2017
- Analytics Center – Q1 2018
- Hacken Accelerator – Q4 2017
- Zero-day Platform – Q3 2018
- HackIT Conference – Q3 2018
This planned development depends on the expected success of the tokensale (reaching an "advanced" milestone for selling tokens: 16m HKN).
The team is planning to place tokens on exchanges to enable open trade, but does not disclose any details on this issue. The timing of access to exchanges is not known.
The growth of crime in the field of computer security has obliged company owners to invest more and more to protect business.
One of the most popular forms of contract for Ethereum are tokens. More than 800 tokens have been released on the Ethereum platform since its launch in 2015.
In 2017, $1.6bln was invested in ICOs based on Ethereum, but cybercriminals were able to steal more than $150m of income. About 10% of tokens passed through ICOs were in the hands of criminals.
The growth of cybercrime on Ethereum grew in tandem with ICO funding increases, while the total damage from cybercrime grew from $100m in June to $225m in August this year.
In 2024, the world market for ICOs will be worth $20 bln. This figure is stated in a report from the American analytical company Transparency Market Research. The industry will grow by an average of 59% per year. The research is constituted on the blockchain market of 2015, whose volume was estimated at $316 mln.
According to Transparency Market Research, growth factors for the blockchain industry will be the increase in the need for secure online payments, as well as the spread of the internet of things. This market is restrained only by the mistrust of regulators, as well as technical problems within the blockchain itself.
More and more companies are showing interest in blockchain technology, but basic software does not meet key requirements such as efficiency, confidentiality, management and required computing power. All these factors attract more and more hackers to the technology.
All this entails the need of potential investors to protect against hacker attacks. According to the forecasts of IDC’s analysts, the world sales for hardware, software and services related to computer security will grow by 8.2% to $81.7 bln in 2017. In the coming years, growth will accelerate - an average of 8.7% per year - and by 2020 the market will grow to almost $105 bln.
According to analysts, digital transformation forces companies to invest actively in security equipment. More than 30% of purchases come from companies in banking, discrete and government sectors. Faster than in other sectors (11.2% per year) the telecommunications industry is stepping up its purchases, and it will enter the top five largest buyers in 2018.
The largest segment of the market in the coming years will be services - primarily managed security services, as well as integration and consulting services. These account for almost $31.2 bln in 2017. The size of the segment for hardware and software network security will be $15.2 bln in 2017, and endpoint security tools will be $10.2 bln. Other actively developing spheres are software (16% per year) and program (14.5% per year) vulnerability assessment segments, managed security services (12.2% per year), user behavior analysis (12.2% per year) and unified threat management (UTM) (11.9% per year).
Thus, the Hacken project is starting its activities in a very promising and rapidly growing market, which certainly increases chances for its successful launch and the subsequent expansion of the business.
The HACKEN project team is represented by more than 35 specialists.
The project’s management consists of 8 people. Leading positions are occupied by:
Dmytro Budorin – Co-Founder, Lead manager and CFO. Has been working for Hacken since August 2017 and is responsible for the overall strategy of the project. Certified international accountant and auditor with an ACCA diploma. Achieved significant success working for eight years for Deloitte.
- Kyiv Investment Management Institute 2016-2018
- Aspen Institute Kyiv 2017
- Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business 2017
- ACCA 2008-2012
- Ukranian Academy of Foreign Trade 2003-2008
Nikita Knysh –Co-founder of the Cybersecurity Forum HackIT. In the white paper Nikita is represented as the director of community relations with Hacken; however this information is not present on Linkedin. Specializes in the field of cybersecurity training for various state institutions of Ukraine. CEO at ProtectMaster, one of the sponsors of the Hacken project.
- National Aerospace University. N. Ye. Zhukovsky "KhAI" 2008-2013
Andrii Matiukhin – CTO and co-founder at Hacken. Has been working for Hacken since July 2017. Responsible for technical leadership of development, integration and support for the HackenProof platform. CTO at CyberGuard.
- National Technical University of Ukraine «Kyiv Polytechnic Institute»
Dr.YegorAushev – COO at Hacken. Has been involved in the Hacken project as a COO since July 2017. CEO at Information Security Group, Project Director at Cyber Guard. Holds a PhD in high-energy physics at DESY, Hamburg.
- National Technical University of Ukraine «Kyiv Polytechnic Institute»
- Ukrainian School of Political Studies 2016-2017
- Kharkiv National University of Radio and Electronics 2008-2013
16 people were also involved as advisors, many of whom have successful experience in implementing various projects:
Oleksii Matiiasevych – architect of Ethereum block engineering, engineer for the development of intellectual contracts.
Andrey Velikiy – managing partner of the investment group "iGuards.net". Expert on investments and start-ups, bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and a blockchain enthusiast.
Andrii Zamovsky – Blockchain developer, Ethereum architect and CEO at Ambisafe.
Shahmeer Amir – Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, Hack-o-preneur, and Information Security Researcher.
Vasiliy Ivanov – ICO and cryptocommunity advisor, SONM Crypto RocknRolla since 2011; trading crypto since 2013.
ReubenGodfrey – Founding director of the Blockchain Association of Ireland. According to the founders, the project involves specialists with experience in the development of blockchain systems; in addition, outsourcing developers are engaged to implement the tasks assigned to the project.
It is positive that the founders have experience in activities related to the direction of the project. There are also participants who are directly involved in the cryptomarket.
The website does not provide information on who will be engaged in promoting the product, since there is an active search for a specialist in this department at the moment.
There is no information on the global marketing strategy in the documentation. The project’s marketing budget is not known.
The lack of detailed information about the strategy is explained by the fact that the staff is currently in the process of recruiting and is actively searching for a specialist with experience of international practice in this field.
The team is planning to allocate 3% of tokens on the marketing promotion of the ICO.
To increase the efficiency of the bounty program, the company recruited a community manager.
According to the founders, the community manager will be able to manage 1% of the tokens himself, building a community network in various languages according to the agreed budget.
The remaining 2% of tokens are distributed in the following areas:
Currently, the Hacken Team is drawing the community's attention to its project and the upcoming ICO via the following channels:
- Interaction with the community via the Bitcointalk forum (high activity) and Telegram (430 subscribers). The number of followers on Facebook was 2003 at the time of writing the review, and the number of readers on Twitter exceeded 1600. There are 87 subscribers on Steemit.
- The YouTube channel has 126 subscribers; The video about Hacken’s ecosystem had gained 290,179 views at the time of writing the review.
- Project partners include: Cryptonomos, Cryptogroup , Ambisafe, ProtectMaster, TSH Development, ICO BANK, Smartone, HackIT, TAAS, KrowdMentor.
To attract investors at the beginning of the ICO a bonus system has been developed.
The current efforts of the team to promote the product are focused on the forthcoming ICO. The global marketing strategy of the project for its further development has not been fully worked out and, in our opinion, requires a more serious approach. Since the success of the project in this case will depend on the scale of the marketing campaign, and its scale in turn depends on the results of the ICO, the project needs to increase activity on social media, conduct advertising campaigns with the sponsors of the project, and be published in the media more often for a successful crowdsale to occur.
Competitive Advantages of the Project
Currently there are companies that have won a good reputation in the cybersecurity market segment.
The main competitors for Hacken are:
- Bugcrowd – an American company that positions itself as the leader in the market. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco.
- HackerOne – Another American company that searches for vulnerabilities. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco. Currently, more than 700 companies have used the services of HackerOne.
- Synack – headquartered in Redwood City, California; Synak is a global organization with regional offices in 7 countries. Founded in 2013.
- Security Audit Systems – A British company for penetration testing in IT security industry; the company was founded in 2005.
- Pentestit – A Russian company; in addition to penetration testing services and holding courses in ethical hacking, prepares companies for compliance with the PCI DSS standard, forensic, as well as a cloud firewall based on the artificial intelligence Nemesida WAF.
Most companies in this field work with small and medium-sized businesses, as large corporations can afford to independently maintain their own cybersecurity service.
As we can see, the Hacken project is trying to enter a fairly competitive market. The above-mentioned organizations have been operating for several years; they are well known and have a large number of regular customers. For example, according to Blockchain News, Bugcrowd searched the Dash payment system for vulnerabilities in August this year.
On the other hand, the main concentration of such companies is located on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In Europe, such companies are few in number and Hacken can become one of the competitive companies in ensuring cybersecurity.
The advantage of the Hacken platform over its competitors is its versatility - in addition to standard vulnerability search options, Hacken will be able to offer legitimate work to specialists in the field, which due to legal subtleties of some countries is a shadow niche (creating a large community of professionals who can detect Zero-Day threats).
In addition, there are a number of important differences:
- Availability of vulnerability search services for SME (small and medium businesses.)
- The Hacken Business Accelerator program, which allows the best community members to create their own start-ups with the support of Hacken and attracted investors.
- A mechanism for guaranteeing the return of funds, which will offer a clear advantage that no current market participant can provide.
Since the Hacken platform uses blockchain technology, it will give customers a guarantee that user information and vulnerabilities found will remain confidential. This is one of the main advantages of the product.
Risks of the Project
In addition to the traditional risks associated with the crypto industry which should not be ignored, we draw investors' attention to the following points:
First, it is worth noting the risk of high competition. The cybersecurity market has players who have received plenty of recognition in business and it will not be easy to occupy their niche, despite growing demand in the market. For survival, development and, even more so, implementation of the tasks set the project will require a large-scale marketing strategy.
At the same time, investors should pay attention to the fact that the future marketing strategy has not been published, i.e. current investors cannot obtain a clear idea of how Hacken will attract users to the platform. For this reason, the project has also a risk in its plans for its further development.
The documentation also mentions legal risks that the project may face in different jurisdictions. However, the project team understands the seriousness of this issue and is taking measures to reduce the risk.
Any other significant risks that could have a negative impact on the Hacken project’s investability were not detected by us.
Economy of the Project
The internal economic model of the project is described in the white paper as follows:
All calculations within the platform will take place only in HKN tokens. The following operations are possible with HKN tokens:
- Payment for orders via HackenProof
- Paying a reward for identifying original Zero-day vulnerabilities
- Payment for the services of the Cybersecurity Analysis Center;
- Investment via the Hacken Business Accelerator.
After client signs an agreement to participate in a vulnerability search campaign, he independently installs some of the settings, among which is a reward that is ready to pay for the service, and determines the level of bonus payments. The company reserves the right to advise the client on monetary policy and average market prices but any final decision is made by the client himself.
The HackenProof commission is 30% per transaction. According to the founders, this commission will decrease as the project develops automation of its internal processes as well as the growth of its client base, in order to maintain competitiveness and increase market share.
A mechanism for burning tokens is provided in the project’s economy. This mechanism is discussed in detail in the "Investment attractiveness of the token" section.
In addition, sometime after the launch, the platform will implement a money-back guarantee. This functionality is based on a model similar to the classical insurance model: the customer pays for this option, and if after a search for vulnerabilities and the issue of a HackenProof Vulnerability Certificate and countermeasures, finds a significant vulnerability not specified in this certificate, he can demand a return of the fees for services. Examination of this vulnerability for its "materiality" will be implemented by a third independent party.
The reward platform for identifying original zero-day vulnerabilities.
A remuneration fund is planned for this platform, from which Hacken will support experts in the field of computer technology. Specialists will be able to obtain remuneration for previously unsolved studies of zero-day vulnerabilities. To participate in the program both the funds and means of tokenholders will be attracted. Sizes of rewards for tokenholders for participating in the financing program will be determined in proportion to the share of participation. Currently, details of the methodology for determining remuneration amounts are not specified.
Special programs for subscribing to the zero-day platform for members of the community are to be created.
With the reward platform for zero-day vulnerabilities, Hacken will also finance up to 25% of the cost of start-ups that fall under its acceleration program. It can therefore be concluded from the above, that the project economy has a simple and understandable model.
Regarding the project’s financial model, this is not shown in the white paper. However, at our request, the founders have provided all necessary calculations. This information is the intellectual property of the company, and does not include documentation intended for wide access. For this reason, we have no right to refer to any figures, but we can confirm the existence of a financial model and the thoroughness of its elaboration.
Speaking about the seriousness of the approach of the founders to creating transparency for this part of the project, we should also note the following points:
- Annual financial statements for the business will be checked by an international auditor from the Big Four.
- To monitor the use of collected funds, an escrow agent will be involved. The escrow account will be opened for 100% of the budget for the development of the zero-day platform, the Hacken business accelerator and the Cyber Security Analytical Center. For HackenProof and the HackIT Conference, this figure will be 70%.
Investment highlights of the token
HKN tokens do not represent shares in the project, do not give any rights to receive future income, nor the right to vote. The HKN token is exclusively infrastructural in nature, and intended for transactions within the Hacken ecosystem.
However, to increase the investment attractiveness of tokens, the project provides a mechanism for their "burning". This mechanism is described in detail in the white paper and represents the following sequence of events in the operation of the system - for each operation, the Hacken ecosystem makes a profit. This profit is divided into two parts:
- 50% HKN is deactivated and removed from the system.
- 50% sent back for sale in open market.
In the documentation, principles of deactivation of the tokens on all services of the platform are considered in more detail. So, according to the information provided, the "burning" for HackenProof services will be held daily at 12.00 Eastern European time, with 24 hours’ notice. At the same time, on the zero-day platform and Analytical Center, a "burn out" of tokens will be held once a year on the basis of audited financial statements with a notice period of 1 calendar week. As for the Hacken business accelerator, the described mechanism will work during "exit" of a start-up.
Such a model should lead to an increase in the exchange value of HKN against other currencies and cryptocurrencies; as the platform's popularity increases it will lead to increased liquidity, due to the divisibility of the token.
The described mechanism, along with the increase in the number of users and platform turnover, will set the rate of growth of the exchange value of the token. Based on the logic of this model even with constant turnover within the platform, long term investors will be able to see growth for the token due to its integrated "burning" mechanism. If growth in number of users is significant, the growth of the value of the token will be exponential in the course of time.
In addition, it should be noted that the "burning" principle will help to eliminate regulatory risks that might impede the participation of those who are residents of certain jurisdictions and thus expand the audience, which in turn will affect the growth in the number of users in a positive way.
Summarizing all the above, we can estimate a good potential value for HKN tokens after the ICO.