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Pibble Rating Review


Investment Rating

Expiry date : Expired 15 Jul 2018


We have reviewed the project's progress as of February 2019 and would like to note that the progress of the project is difficult to track and very unclear, the team did not publish the updated roadmap. The team is behind its initial roadmap in terms of apps launch. Therefore, the project's rating has been decreased to Risky. 

The monetary valuation of the digital image market is large enough for it to be taken seriously as a segment but not so large that blockchain projects are flooding this segment with ICOs. Interest from blockchain developers is just beginning to reach this area. The market suffers from a number of inefficiencies which lead to revenue loss for content producers and a number of copyright difficulties. Many existing centralized platforms for selling content are constantly criticized by users. Given such conditions, commercial distribution of digital images is arguably ripe for blockchain.

We note the efforts of the project founder regarding selection of personnel. The Pibble team and the consultants listed create a positive impression, and there is no reason to doubt their competence.

There is support for the project from the entertainment business. Project partners such as the KIWI MEDIA Group and Star Asia give Pibble reputational support. Directors of large Korean companies are acting as advisors, which is definitely a positive point.

Unfortunately, Pibble currently seems too concentrated on its native region. This is indicated by a weak marketing campaign in English. We consider this a risk for further development of the platform combined with additional future marketing costs.

The project's own achievements in the field of machine learning and pattern recognition could be of interest to the market. The core of the future ecosystem will be the Contents Pro search engine, implemented on blockchain. This suite of image recognition services will contribute to the platform’s copyright protection facilities.

Pibble is not the only blockchain project focused on the digital image market. Currently, a number of similar start-ups are developing; we consider KODAKOne, from photo industry giant Kodak, to be the most promising.

The Pibble project has extremely weak marketing support for the English-speaking world. The documentation lacks a business plan or any disclosure of strategic benchmarks - projections of operational or financial indicators.

General information about the Project and ICO

The project is a decentralized solution for the image market that addresses current problems for the monetization of photo content and images without using centralized services such as stock photo agencies, at the same time providing professionals and a wide range of ordinary users with an opportunity to participate in the platform and market. The Pibble platform is developing a marketplace for visual content, where participants are firstly expert groups - professional companies and individuals working in the image market; secondly indie artists - independent artists, photographers and entertainers - for example, singers, actors and celebrities who can deliver content and monetize it.

The platform architecture includes an AI-based mechanism for verifying images originating in the community. The platform is also associated with the Ethereum blockchain, where information on an image will be stored on the basis of a smart contract, i.e. a decentralized photobank will be possible. A blockchain image DNA system (BitDNA Pro) and Pibble Brush are two services available within the framework of Pibble. BItDNA Pro is a verification and authentication services for images related to blockchain, which is developed on the basis of Contents Pro, a centralized service from the same team. Pibble Brush provides social motivation for participants by introducing an intra-platform currency that can be monetized through exchange for PIB tokens.

The project is run by a team most of whom are from South Korea. The competence and professionalism of the team and the consultants and advisors involved is more than impressive. The project has also announced a number of partnerships with profile image-related companies and other Korean media businesses.

From a legal point of view the project is presented by WizData Singapore Pte. Ltd., registered in Singapore. It is this legal entity that appears in Pibble’s token sale terms and conditions, and on the project website.

Pre ICO:

Start: 14 Mar 2018

End: 26 Mar 2018

Minimum investment: 1 ETH


Start: 1 Apr 2018

End: 15 Apr 2018

Soft cap: 45 000 ETH

Hard cap: 10 000 ETH

Price: 200 000 PIB = 1 ETH

Minimum investment: 0.1 ETH

Token: PIB, standard ERC-20

Accepted payment: ETH

Total emission: 30,000,000,000 PIB

Distribution of funds:

30% - Token Sale

35% - PIBBLE Ecosystem

20,85% - Team

8% - Advisors, partners

On sale: 9,000,000,000 PIB

Distribution of funds raised during the ICO:

  • The following bonus system is provided during the crowdsale:

For the Pre-ICO: March 14 - 20: 10%; March 21-26: 5%. There are no bonuses during the ICO.

  • The following lock-in periods are provided:

For founders’ and team’s tokens - 2 years.

For Advisors’/Partners’ tokens - 3 months.

  • Unsupported tokens will be burned.

Description of the services and scope of the project

The main service Pibble provides is a marketplace for images, and safety in using original images. The platform architecture consists of systems that provide an ability to download, verify, sell and track images and also offer motivation to users. In addition to describing platform services, we will also separately focus on two add-ons - BitDNA Pro and Pibble Brush; these are the most important components of the ecosystem.

The Blockchain Image DNA System (BitDNA Pro) is a product combining Contents Pro and the Ethereum blockchain. Contents Pro is a digital analytical and search engine able to process more than 300,000 images (1,000 pixels) per second. By matching images found with copyright information, the engine enables:

  • Preventing a duplicate image being introduced into an existing system
  • Filtering out incorrect images or malicious content
  • Exercising control over the illegal use of digital assets
  • Searching for images at a user’s request.

At the heart of the system is the generation and analysis of DNA images, i.e. raw data. On the basis of DNA the image is read from blockchain and compared with an image the user wants to upload to the system.

Thus, the Pibble ecosystem is filled with images that are circulated within the marketplace and the social market ecosystem. Images added to the platform undergo a verification process which consists of both platform and community verification.

Initially, when a new image is received, BitDNA's Deep Learning AI starts filtering out images that are automatically unacceptable according to platform policy - images that are considered cruel, defamatory, libelous, obscene, etc. If the image does not pass through this filter, the creator (uploader) is notified of this, after which he can express disagreement. Otherwise, the image will be rejected by the system after a certain amount of time by default. If the creator disagrees with this verdict the image is placed in a waiting list for users to review.

In addition to AI verification, the platform provides another verification step for the image – community verification. Users accept downloading an image if it meets all platform requirements and policies, receiving Pibble Brush for this. Such a mechanism requires participation by several users - verification itself works by achieving consensus.

After uploading an image to the platform, users can monetize it – i.e. put up the copyright for sale in the marketplace and receive a PIB token for it. BitDNA Pro will continue to use the rights to the image.

Users within the Pibble ecosystem can remain anonymous, but an account verification process still exists via confirmation of a mobile phone number or email address. Within the ecosystem, a Badge system is also developed for the Pibble community, an indicator of a user's reputation. Badges are defined for each account along with Pibble Brush, and are dependent on the following variables:

  • Number of traded images
  • The number of PIBs spent on purchasing images
  • The number of PIBs received from the sale of images
  • Activity and quality of commenting
  • The scope of participation in the verification of downloaded images
  • Number of Pibble Brush

The process of obtaining a new Badge level for a user account becomes more complicated with each new level; the amount of Pibble Brush concentrated by the user has a significant impact on this. Thus, participants are constantly stimulated to store Pibble Brush.

Badges can also be reduced either over time or in the event of negative user actions. Participants with a low or negative Badge level can be excluded from the ecosystem and deprived of their access rights.

Pibble brush is a system of encouraging social interaction among users, operating on the basis of the virtual units of the same name. Pibble brush is not a currency or ERC20 token, and cannot be used outside of the platform’s ecosystem. Pibble brush can be earned through activities useful to the ecosystem; it can indicate the impact of a user, and can also be transferred to another user.

The value of Pibble brush is provided by being able to exchange it for PIB tokens; however, this process takes 6 weeks. The converse exchange is available too; an inactive user has another opportunity to interact with the ecosystem from scratch, as well as increasing the efficiency of Pibble brush earnings.

To eliminate risks of permanent generation of value units, Pibble provides a mechanism for burning Pibble brush. According to the rules, between 5 to 30% of Pibble brush units every 6 months on each account are burned; these rates are determined by various conditions, but the amount of Pibble brush in an account is the most significant. Although the team does not fully disclose the parameters for the functioning of the system, it can assumed from current introductory information that a user on one hand is motivated to monetize Pibble brush, and on the other hand to accumulate these units even taking into account burning rules, since a larger volume will contribute to a much more significant financial or other return on platform activity.

Two circumstances for using Pibble brush are considered in the white paper: viewing and commenting. For each image viewed, a user receives a reward in the form of intra-platform units. A reward can be obtained every 30 minutes, which avoids unregulated activity. The award is calculated based on the total number of Pibble brush, i.e. the more units the user keeps, the more units he receives.

A user can also be awarded Pibble brush by commenting on the platform; however, to prevent spam, any reward for comments is updated every 24 hours. In case of a violation, a user can be fined, including by limiting comments or by reducing rewards for comments by lowering the Badge level.

From the project’s description, nuances for the interaction of all image ecosystems are not fully understood as Pibble simultaneously offers three reward systems: PIB token, Pibble Brush and Badges. All of them provide for a variety of interaction options, and in this sense a detailed description of their functioning could be cumbersome.

Regarding the technical architecture and nuances of interaction for blockchain, Pibble’s own software, and the types and structures of Ethereum smart contracts used, almost nothing is said in the documentation. This is a drawback, as the architecture is not simple; there are no precedents in the stock image market.

Market review

We would like to start our market review with a small digression on the topic of the stock images market. On January 8, 2018, Kodak announced the creation of its KODAKOne image management platform and KODAKCoin cryptocurrency. Shares in the Eastman Kodak Company (KODK) on New York Stock Exchange increased by 245% from $3.1 to $10.7 in two days.

We started with this fact not in order to promote a competitor, but to show how positively the market perceives blockchain innovations in the photo industry. To support the idea, we quote Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke:

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem”.

Indeed, the internet is full of terabytes of digital content that doesn’t bring its creators due compensation and often raises copyright questions. All this creates additional business costs and makes it difficult to maintain. Pibble have summarised the situation in their white paper:

“However, despite such a vast expansion, the 'image' market still remains uninstitutionalized. When one shares a picture or image that they like, the original creator is often barely recognized. Due to this culture, recognition for the work of experts is slowly fading.”

In all respects, the introduction of blockchain in this area was only a matter of time. This is how the main problems for the current paid image market were identified by Pibble:

  • Unreasonable payment method via huge intermediaries - Stock Image Agencies
  • Opaque selection and pricing systems for uploaded images
  • Evaporation of rights due to the inability to identify an image’s creator

All of the above can be solved with blockchain and smart contracts. However, the market has not seen major projects in this field. Perhaps this is due to the fact that developers underestimate the potential of this market segment.

Currently, a number of market researchers assess the image market at several billion dollars. Technavio expected an excess of $2.4 billion by the end of 2017. In a review entitled "Global Stock Images Market - Strategic Assessment and Forecast 2017-2022", Beige Market Intelligence forecasted an excess of $4 billion by 2022 with a CAGR of 7.37% in the period under consideration.

However, not all parties share these views, considering the volume of the image market to be much higher. We strongly recommend you read the article "The total size of the licensing market" by photographer Dan Heller, where he criticizes out-of-date approaches used by market researchers and demonstrates an unexpectedly fresh and progressive view on methodological issues of market analysis.

Regarding the specifics of the process of selling images - in other words, monetizing produced content - the surest way is to turn to centralized stock photo agencies. There are hundreds of such agencies but market researchers usually consider the largest ones: Getty Images, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock and Corbis. Getty Images is the world's largest digital stock images vendor.

In July 2017, a good comparative study of the biggest companies was published on the PetaPixel portal. For a more detailed introduction to the subject, we recommend this article.

The main advantages of using well-known services could include the following:

  • The opportunity to capitalize on the authority of these services (in the case of Getty)
  • Feel Good Factor
  • Access to the right audience
  • Compatibility with professional software (in the case of Adobe)

There are also a number of disadvantages for centralized services, the most significant being:

  • Exclusivity (in the case of Getty)
  • Out-of-date website or functionality (in the case of Getty)
  • High platform commission
  • An often slow customer service with long processing times

All of the above can be solved by using blockchain technology with smart contracts. Therefore, ICO projects of this nature will be very interesting to the community. Another question is how flexible the community will be and whether it will abandon familiar platforms; only time will tell.

In addition to KODAKOne and Pibble, we should also mention IPStock as a platform for visual digital content asset management. The latter offers a copyright registry on blockchain, license management with smart-contracts, p2p with low transaction costs. From our point of view, these projects together will be the most popular competitors in this field.

As a competitive advantage, Pibble’s planned copyright protection is significant; "Contents PRO", its proprietary search engine will be integrated into the ecosystem. Using advanced algorithms of machine learning for image recognition, the Contents PRO engine will become the basis for image copyright tracking inside the platform.

We also wish to note that the issue of blockchain usage in the photo industry and in copyright protection is well established regarding storage of information on digital assets. We would like to recall the Proof of Existence service, which was one of the first able to save hashes of digital files on the Bitcoin blockchain as a confirmation of the existence of a particular file at a particular point in time. This feature of blockchain has opened up new opportunities for digital notaries, including copyright.

Team and stakeholders

If one carefully reads the white paper or browse through the Pibble website, it may give an impression that a large number of people are involved in the project. This may seem so because there are many photos and descriptions. The project has 8 advisors, 5 consultants and 8 team members.

A very large number of partners supports the project in addition. If we glance through the list of partners in the white paper, it seems that most Korean businesses have decided to support Pibble. This is a lighthearted comment of course, but the list is really impressive. The Pibble project is actually supported by 5 main partners; they are referred to as "Our Trusted Partners" on the website.



KIWI MEDIA Group is the only entertainment company listed on the KOSPI market in Korea, unlike ordinary entertainment companies listed on KOSDAQ market for small business and venture business. It is a global media company that is opening up new prospects in the content market through movies, dramas, music, performances, broadcasting, publishing, management and so on.

VirtualTek Co., Ltd.


VirtualTek Co., Ltd. is a representative of the first generation of the IT industry, listed on KOSDAQ in 2000 after launch as an IO System in 1991.

Currently, the company has 13 affiliates in the field of IT convergence sales, fuel cell generation, eco-friendly energy IT convergence R&D and so on. The company are evolving into an ‘Eco-Friendly & Green Energy’ company by expanding new businesses continuously in the field of Wi-Fi applied technology and Blockchain mining solutions.



Etomato was founded in 1994 as a specialized broadcasting company for securities, and operates Radio Etomato and Tomato TV and was the first domestic securities/economic channel to broadcast HD in 2009.

The Star Asia Co., Ltd.


The Star Asia Co., Ltd. is a Korea-based company with the strongest network in Japan among Korean entertainment companies. Its subsidiary, The Star Japan Co., Ltd. Is located in Japan, and operates in the fields of magazines, publishing, performance planning, entertainment business and so on. “The Star” magazine deals with fashion, beauty and the lifestyle of celebrities as the number one star magazine in Korea, having turned itself into a leader of ‘Hallyu’ (Korean Wave) Magazines.

Blockchain Fourm Korea(BFK)


Blockchain Fourm Korea(BFK) is a trustworthy information channel that has the strongest community power in the country, aiming to become a global solution provider for the world of blockchain. BFK is striving to add value through various business models such as an information channel, an academy, a BBI(Blockchain Biz Incubator), coin issuance, a marketing channel and community operations.

A more detailed description of the main partners can be found in an article on Medium. The project also has ‘Image Contents Partners’ and a Contents Pro partner; here we do not specify them as a list is available on the website.

Let us move to the project team. The Pibble project has one founder, Treadi Lee. Treadi is not new to the world of entertainment, and it is thanks to her presence that the KIWI MEDIA Group and The Star Asia decided to support the project.

Treadi Lee, Founder

Treadi is currently in charge of new business for Kiwi Media Group and The Star Asia. As a content business partner with MBC and YG Entertainment, she has run her own business providing copyright protection services to more than 60 newspapers through her own content distribution solution. Based on 20 years of IT experience, she is consulting on several projects that combine blockchain technology with existing businesses.

More details: LinkedIn

As often happens, the Founder and CEO are not the same person. Pibble is no exception, and YoungKey Park was recruited as CEO; he is a major specialist in image recognition. Andrew DB Chae is responsible for the technical aspect of the project. More detailed information about the project management is provided below.

YoungKey Park, CEO

A specialist in image recognition technology using AI. Project manager of face recognition engine (sensationally popular 'Pudding Face Recognition' app for finding a similar celebrity - KTH Company) development. Motion recognition project development at KDDI Labs (Japanese mobile service company). Development concerning digital signage using face recognition, video DNA extraction for second screen, motion recognition engine by acceleration sensor tracking, iris recognition engine, VR multi-camera real-time stitching module and so on.

More details: LinkedIn

Andrew DB Chae, CTO

Data Scientist. Responsible for system development at the IBM Research Center in Korea. He participated in the Best Project Award of the Presidential Citation and the Best Project Member Award of the Minister of Government Administration in 2007. He was IBM's first awardee of Global OIA/OTAA award in Korea in 2017. He is a member of the Blockchain SIG and The BigData SIG.

More details: LinkedIn 

The rest of the team are listed below, more details are in the WP or on the website.


Ben Kim


Content Developer

YoungSoo Mun


Multimedia Content Producer

Kevin Kang


Content Developer

Jinri Lee


Marketing Developer

Hyungjoon Yoo


Research & Analysis Developer

In addition to the core team, Pibble draws on the expertise of a group of consultants. These include specialists in ICO marketing, blockchain developers and lawyers who have been working with such projects as MediBloc, ICON, BOScoin and others.


Jay H. Kim

Blockchain Specialist for Token Logic Design

JaeRyong Kim


NPER-Marketing Specialist

Richard Jang


Marketing Manager

Song Do-Young


Attorney at Law, Partner in the VEAT law firm

Min Park


Blockchain Marketing Specialist

The last thing we would like to add to the review of the team - a little information about the advisors. The rule of good taste is if the ICO project is supported by someone from the partner companies as advisors. The Pibble project made it the best way.



Founder of FOCAFET Foundation



Professor in Open Innovation and Business Venturing



CEO & Founder at LALA World

JinMan Kim



ChulWoong Jung


Blockchain Marketing Specialist

EonKoo Hwang


Vice president of e-Tomato Group

JiHyun Suh




Token analysis

PIBBLE is a utility token; transactions between creators/sellers and other users (customers) are performed using PIBBLE Token. Given the use of smart contracts in the process of listing images on the platform, use of the tokens as a payment instrument is fully justified.

The commission system on the platform assumes a 10% charge for the implementation of images using the stock image method. These funds are used to support and develop the Pibble ecosystem. In addition, users pay a transaction fee, which is necessary for the functioning of the blockchain and the Pibble ecosystem.

Due to the fact that the centralized intra-platform Pibble Brush is used on the platform along with ERC20 PIB tokens, it is important to understand the effect of two calculation systems on each other. The exchange of tokens for Pibble Brush and vice versa is possible within 6 months. However, an excess of users who want to exchange tokens for Pibble Brush, not vice versa, is more promising in terms of token demand. Thus, it is necessary to have non-monetary bonuses for amounts of Pibble Brush which are stated in the description; their materiality and attractiveness will be the key point here.

Another issue regarding the exchange of tokens on Pibble Brush is the source(s) of tokens. The most logical is the distribution of tokens received from commission; in this case the team needs clear management of cash flow, as a liquidity shortage could create problems with exchange, and the policy for user rewards will require an adjustment which would adversely affect reputation.

Analysis of factors affecting the future value of the token

In the case of Pibble, we do not see unique factors for the ICO token, which could positively affect its price in the future irrespective of infrastructural demand. In other words, from the point of view of medium-term and short-term investors the cost could be dictated by market expectations and general market sentiment.

Separately it is worth noting a high percentage of tokens not destined for investors - 70% of the emission will go to to the team and consultants (29%), marketing (6%) and to meet the needs of the Pibble ecosystem (35%). Although the team’s and consultants’ tokens have a lock-up period, in the future, the implementation of such a percentage may put pressure on token quotes. In addition, the lock-up period for partners’ and consultants’ tokens is only 3 months (2 years for the team’s tokens). The team explains this allocation, firstly, as due to the number of people in the team, consultants and partners, as well as the need to fill the ecosystem with liquidity and images to create the initial market. In particular, Pibble is planning to distribute a certain pool of images on a free-of-charge basis; however, in the future, users will pay standard commission when trading them. Such a business model fits with established practice; these funds can be considered as part of the marketing budget.

Regarding the long-term development of the platform and increase in demand from users of the platform, it is worthwhile examining the roadmap. The roadmap assumes release of the platform fairly soon. The release of a public beta for Pibble is expected in the 4th quarter of 2018, which will enable users to download and license images for free, use Pibble Brush and BitDNDA Pro. Completion of development is planned for the 1st quarter of 2019, when in addition to a desktop version, mobile applications for iOS & Android will also be available.

The platform development period is short due to what has been achieved before the ICO, namely the developed core of the ecosystem, Contents Pro. At the same time, we do not expect the platform to be greatly popular immediately after its release; it will take some time to adapt users to the ecosystem and, most importantly, restructuring of the acquisition and trade of images. As a result, the Pibble token is more interesting in terms of long-term fundamental growth factors. Diversification of a portfolio by including such a non-standard business segment is likely to be of interest.

We would like to mention another factor in the potential popularity of the Pibble ecosystem and, accordingly, demand for PIB - the regional orientation of the project. Clearly, significant activity in terms of marketing and dialogue with the community is occuring in the Asian segment, and the development of the project as a business is also oriented to the South Korean market. At the same time, the English-speaking online audience constitutes the vast majority of the image market; the team will have to take this into account sooner or later. The business could grow at an accelerated pace depending on the success of a global marketing campaign for the launched platform.

It is also worth noting that there is no business plan or any disclosure of strategic benchmarks in the documentation – no forecasts for operational or financial indicators. Thus, it is difficult to understand what audience the team is anticipating, how it will be created over time and how the team will distribute revenues and spend funds earned by the Pibble ecosystem.

Investment risk analysis

The project offers a blockchain solution for the photo content market. This technology could be relevant to an industry where leading photo agency websites are often criticized for hopelessly outdated functionality. But as market analysis shows, blockchain projects have not yet directly arrived in this copyright-sensitive sector.

The first risk for the project stems from the nature of the target community. The industry has some inertness and adheres to certain services. For example, selling via Getty Images is still considered very prestigious despite the outdated functionality of this portal. Therefore, it will be possible to assess elasticity of demand only with time.

Although the blockchain services niche remains empty for this segment, Pibble will have competitors. Since the project is still locally focused, the activity of such players as KODAKOne could offer significant competition in the future.

The Pibble project has extremely weak marketing support in the English-speaking segment. The main public channels have almost no subscribers and there is virtually no discussion of the project with the community. This makes Pibble even more localized to the Asian segment, which could become an obstacle to the further development of the project.

The documentation does not contain a business plan or any disclosure of strategic benchmarks - projections for operational or financial indicators. Thus, it is difficult to understand what audience the team is anticipating, how it will be created over time or how the team will distribute revenues and spend funds.

The information contained in the document is for informational purposes only. ICORating received monetary compensation in the amount of $18030 from the entity rated in this report for completing the ratings report. However, the entity rated in this report did not have the opportunity to approve this rating report before the report was published, nor did the rated entity have the opportunity to edit or remove this report once it was published. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the ICORating Team, based on data obtained 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.