We assign a "Risky+" rating to the MAD Networks project. We cannot make recommendations concerning the purchase of the project tokens for short-term speculation due to the early stage of the project's advertising campaign and, consequently, its low media exposure in the community. From a long-term perspective, the project may well be successful, but there is a risk of token value drawdown after the ICO, due to a long wait of time before the launch of its core functionality.
We find the idea attractive. The solution to the problems identified by the authors is still relevant, and the market for advertising and digital advertising in particular has great potential.
The project team is small but has good experience, required for the product development. There are other projects that have been successfully implemented and are being run by the authors of the MAD Network project. However, no one in the team has real experience of working directly with advertising.
The MAD token itself is a utility. Using the token within the system will facilitate demand for it.
MAD Network has strong support from IBM (through the AdLedger Consortium) and Fenbushi Capital.
However, it is worth noting some uncertainty about the project:
The marketing campaign is only now being launched, and community approval of the project is not yet significant.
There is no MVP and no technical description of the project, which makes it impossible to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the system.
There is high competition in the advertising market in general, as well as competitors that have already entered the market. For example Brave and AdEx, who have successfully completed their ICOs.
The full-scale launch of the project is expected no sooner than within the next year. Because there is no prototype and the developer team is still being put together, there are risks of underestimating the time needed for the project’s implementation.
The project does not involve any rewards for the authors themselves. The question arises as to the interest of founders in the long-term development of the project and the fate of the platform following the disbursement of funds collected through ICO.
The shares of token holders will be diluted by the additional token issuance announced by the project authors. The total volume of the issuance and the frequency of additional issues are not specifically identified.
General information about the Project and ICO
The MAD Network is a set of decentralized applications designed to seamlessly connect every stakeholder within the complex adtech value chain. The project is intended to simplify the relationship between advertisers and publishers, reduce the costs for the former and increase the latter's income, eliminate intermediaries and create absolute transparency in order to increase the level of trust of all the participants.
The project is based on blockchain technology, so it is a logical process to stage the ICO with the issuance of internal tokens. MAD Network is a company registered in Singapore.
There are now closed presales, and the authors have given the following information: “8% of the tokens are allocated to the seed round; already raised for a total of $1.9 million”.
All token launch participants will complete a basic KYC/AML check before entering the token sale portal. Investors from the United States, China, and Singapore will be unable to participate in the general crowd sale. New tokens will be issued after one year to those who participated in the bonus structure and held their tokens for a year. The wallets will use a basic three-key multisig structure.
ICO Start: Dec 14, 2017
ICO End: Jan 14, 2018
Token: MAD, ERC 20
Target cap on crowdsale: $25,000,000
ICO Price: $0.25/MAD
Minimum Buying Transaction: -
Minimum Buying Transaction: $500,000
Accepted currencies: BTC, ETH
Total issuance: 220 million tokens
Community - 42%
MAD Technologies Foundation - 20%
Founding Team - 10%
Madhive - 10%
Seed Round - 8%
Ecosystem Partners - 4%
Sale Expenses - 3%
Supervisor nodes - 2%
Advisors - 1%
Allocation of funds:
|R&D||50%||$12 000 000|
|Platform||15%||$3 600 000|
|Business Development||15%||$3 600 000|
|Marketing||10%||$2 400 000|
|Token Launch||5%||$1 200 000|
|Legal||5%||$1 200 000|
Token Issue Date: no later than 30 days after the public sale
Vesting: The share for the founders will be blocked for a year with two semi-annual unblocks.
Description of the services and scope of the project
MAD Network is a system that enables advertisers and publishers to be requisitioned without intermediaries. With a specially designed consensus mechanism, the Proof of Real Work, miners are motivated to create more efficient machine learning algorithms. This solves some of the problems described below, but note that such an approach improves the cost-effectiveness of interaction between the two parties.
The MAD Network service structure will consist of three elements:
MADnet Books — a decentralized payment system that denominates all transactions in dollars (with the participation of brokers), performs advertising orders, offers advertising locations and directly places advertisements in real time.
Each order - Insertion Order - typically includes all the necessary information about the ad block: The name of the advertiser, the duration of the advertising campaign, the advertising formats, the platforms used, the budget (rates, discounts and fines). These orders are placed using MADtoken in the smart contract.
MADnet Books will initially be fulfilled via MadHive’s centralized ad server.
MADnet CORE will be a decentralized Ad Server and Exchange. Two main functions are performed here: (1) Miners are motivated to pick orders more carefully, and (2) payment and placement of advertisements are confirmed.
MADnet Books unites users of the ecosystem with MADnet CORE.
MADnet DATA is a platform for managing data about transactions and audiences. At this level, data is exchanged on the blockchain, and publisher profit is ensured.
The general scheme for advertisement placement is as follows:
An advertiser who wants to place an ad creates an Insertion Order and puts it into a smart contract by setting a fee in MADtoken. At this point, MAD Network generates an equivalent value in MADcred (MADcred will be a non-fungible token with an explicit reference to the Insertion order contract in a manner consistent with the ERC non-fungible standard) that are fixed in the smart contract and that will be received by the publisher of the advertisement for advertising space. The publisher then receives MADcred for fiat money and puts MADcred back into the smart contract, confirming receipt of the payment. MADcred is burned, and the advertiser receives MADbonus. If the publisher has not confirmed the payment by returning to the MADcred contract, the advertiser may block the publisher.
MADbonus is intended to stimulate circulation within the system. MADbonus can be used as MADtoken, paying for advertisements (up to 50%).
Thus, the token will perform the following functions within the system:
As a ‘software license’ that activates a payment channel for the accounting, fulfillment and reconciliation of ad delivery.
Incentivizes participant behavior to be aligned with the benefit of the network.
Bootstraps the long-term development of the MAD Network.
Engineering features of the project
Unfortunately, no code examples or a detailed description of the technical content are available in the documentation. This factor suggests either a low degree of project development or weak disclosure of project information, which in any case is evaluated negatively by us.
The only technical description of the project is a brief thesis in the white paper: “MADnet Books is a private chain maintained by the AdLedger Consortium, designed to track high frequency network transactions, expose price manipulation and facilitate accurate reconciliation”.
The digital advertising market continues to grow at a good rate. The growth rate for 2016 was 17.86%. Statista gives the following estimates for the digital advertising market:
In retrospect, there is a steady growth in the market. Market analysts expect further confident growth and an increase in the share of digital advertising.
(the graphs below are provided by Zenith)
Independent assessments by the experts indicate that by 2019 the emphasis is expected to shift to mobile advertising, and digital advertising will start driving television out.
The absolute growth in mobile advertising is expected to be about 80 billion dollars. All other media become secondary.
The authors of the project do not impose any boundaries on it: The geographic footprint can cover the entire world. It is rather hard to estimate the expected turnover within the system. The project looks interesting to potential participants because it does not involve a financial barrier to signing up.
Competitors and competitive advantages of the project
In addition, there is BAT, which has already successfully entered the market and reached hard cap during AdEx ICO (40000eth) and is promising to launch a beta release by the end of January 2018.
There is little to no information available on the advantages or disadvantages of MAD networks compared to decentralized competitors. The project authors themselves do not see BAT as a competitor, rather a future partner. In a Telegram chat, Adam Helfgott spoke of possible cooperation with BAT in the future: “Mad takes in insertion orders from large brands into a smart contract to execute major buys across a multitude of premium publishers. In the media plan generally there is a budget for additional reach to the same consumer across other platforms and devices as well as segments/look alike audiences. We would like those buys to go onto platforms that are the future like BAT.”
For the time being, such projects are still "pioneers", and each project has a real chance to take its niche.
MAD Network emphasizes addressing the following issues in the traditional advertising business:
Supply Chain Opacity
An opaque pricing scheme and lack of disclosure make the advertising business more profitable for intermediaries and less efficient for advertisers.
MAD Network which is based on blockchain, enables all transactions to be transparent.
Disappearing Ad Dollar
On average, en route from the advertiser to the publisher, about 60% of an advertiser's fee is diluted.
MAD Network offers a decentralized site where the only intermediary, a miner, receives 10% of the payment.
Publishers often resort to third-party services and share some information. MAD Network does not have third parties that could use the data for their personal gain.
The main risk to the project, like with many other blockchain startups, is the lack of a working version. The first beta version will appear in August 2018, which is a large time lag.
Since everything associated with blockchain is quite new, there is a risk of an increase of the launch schedule due to an underestimation of the complexity of the task.
The digital advertising market is promising, but there are many who want to take their share of the market. The lack of a working model or the risk of a later launch might cause MAD Network to lag significantly at the start.
In the Telegram chat, the authors mentioned that video ads are their main focus. If the project is implemented in one direction, this will reduce its competitiveness.
The team has announced a future additional issue of tokens in a year’s time, and this may not be a one-off. Rules according to which decisions about additional issues are made, are not developed.
The team's experience corresponds to the specified positions. The team was put together in the context of MadHive. This team can successfully handle the technical launch of the project. Nevertheless, we are forced to note that no one from the core team was directly involved in advertising.
Adam Helfgott - Project Lead. He is currently CEO of MadHive. Past experience in the field of SaaS Solutions (eCamp, Lookbooks Media).
Tom Bollich - Lead Architect. CTO at MadHive. He is an advisor and token architect for two projects: Fr8 Network and StormX, Inc. Co-founder of Hyr Inc. In the past — the vice president of technology at AdExchange; Co-founder of Zynga; CEO at Surina Inc.
Konstantin Richter - Token Strategist. He is the CEO of Blockdaemon. Has a great deal of experience as an advisor for various projects (including MADHive; currently:) Odyssey House, Blink.la, DNAstack, Genumobile, Wiredrive, GemHQ, Mighty Audio, Santiago Advisory, Po.et Foundation).
Chris Powers, Project Manager. Vice President in BTC Labs. Management experience since 2010 (most prominent in the Z0ben Advisors). Spent some time dealing with international markets at ICOAGE.
The authors of the project do not define the roles of advisers. Most participants have rich experience as heads in different directions of business, and it is difficult to determine whether the advisors will actually be useful to the project.
Bo Shen (Fenbushi Capital, Founding/managing partner), Renqi Shen (Fenbushi Capital, Investment Team), Mike Germano (Vice Media, CDO), David Bailey (BTC Media, CEO), Barry Cupples (Omnicom, CEO), Greg Clayman (Viacom, Fox, Vimeo), Tim Ringel (IPG/Reprise, CEO), Gabe Greenberg (GABBCON, CEO), Armin Ebrahimi (ShoCard, CEO), MT Carney (Untitled Worldwide, CEO).
Development strategy and roadmap
MAD Network was founded in 2017.
At this time, the company does not have a beta version of the site or applications for users. The project will be a successor to MadHive's work on intellectual property.
After staging the ICO, the primary focus will shift to the development team to build the platform. MADnet Books’ payment system is planned to be launched by April 2018. At this stage, MADnet Books will serve as a shopping platform for those who wish to buy or sell tokens.
By August 2018, the implementation of MADnet Core and its full integration with MADnet Books is planned. Access to MAD Network is open to all.
The ready version of the MAD Network is expected to be released in November 2018 when advertising on the network using MADtoken is fully implemented.
Realization of the third block - MADnet Data - is planned after the MAD Network launch. The project sponsors do not specify a time frame for this phase.
According to this plan, the launch of the MAD Network is expected no earlier than August 2018, but actual transactions using MADtoken will happen no earlier than November 2018.
In June 2017, the AdLedger Consortium was created to realize the potential of blockchain in the advertising industry, optimize this direction and make it as transparent and secure as possible and, therefore, attractive to the key players in the digital advertising market.
Public response to the project online is currently rather weak. The authors stated that the MAD Network will soon launch an advertising campaign through BTC Media. In addition, a bounty campaign is planned.
Before the launch of project advertising, the coverage is:
Facebook: 4 followers
Twitter: 126 followers
Telegram: 280 Members
Reddit: 7 followers
Bitcointalk: read 542 times
The project authors also mentioned the following partners:
We note that the co-founder of Fenbushi Capital is Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum and Bitcoin Magazine.
Economy of the Project
The project authors say that there are no profits for the system. All tokens will be distributed among the participants, there are no commissions or payments, except for advertisements. Such payments are likely to appear in the future as the ecosystem grows. The attractiveness of the project to the creators is unclear if it is unable to offer them profits except via the one-time crowdsale.
It is expected that the initial costs of establishing the MAD Network will be covered by the funds raised during the ICO, but additional resources will be required to maintain the system and develop it further in the long term.
Token investment attractiveness
The digital advertising market continues to grow, and projects on blockchain technology are being implemented with greater success and are being introduced into everyday life. In a consumer society, the advertising business will not lose its investment attractiveness.
MAD tokens are an infrastructural element of the system. The demand for them as a payment method will not appear before the launch of the MAD Network (August 2018.) Within the system the demand for the tokens will grow with an increase in advertising volumes. The rising demand will be partially smoothed: the system has a bonus program that allows receipt of MADbonus for paid ads and pay with tokens for future advertisements up to 50% of the bid value, allowing advertisers to hold more tokens. According to the project’s authors, an additional token issuance is planned in a year: “New tokens will be issued after one year for those who participated in the bonus structure and have held their tokens for a year”.
There is no reason to expect speculative demand for MAD tokens: currently, the staged ICO involves no bonus program, no term discounts and, as mentioned earlier, the actual demand for tokens will only appear in the second half of next year.
As a result, we recommend the purchase of MAD tokens to investors who prefer a long-term investment strategy and accept the identified risks above.
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.