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Ultrain Rating Review

Stable+

Investment Rating

Expiry date 09 Feb 2019 09 Nov 2018

Rating report

Based on the analysis performed and issues identified, we have assigned the Ultrain project a “Stable +” rating.

 

The project has some current vulnerabilities, being dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet commitments on its deliverables. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the team is not likely to have the capacity to meet its commitments on the project. This outlook assesses the potential direction of the project; in determining a rating, consideration is given to any changes in economic and/or fundamental business conditions. This outlook is not necessarily a precursor of a rating change or future team actions.

 

The project has the following strengths worth noting:

  • An ambitious idea
  • A strong team
  • The hard cap has already been collected
  • Strong strategic partnerships
  • Several well-known VC funds as investors
  • A working testnet

 

However, there are also a number of risks associated with this ICO project:

Market/competitors

Rivalry in the blockchain infrastructure market is extremely high, starting with Ethereum, which is still the major player in this segment; Zilliqa, EOS, NEO, ICON, etc., which historically have much “hype” around them; these projets are still showing fairly strong market performance. There are also newcomer projects like Algorand, which are even closer to solving the triangle of blockchain problems. Taking all this into account, we assess this risk as high.

Development

The project is still under development, and may undergo significant changes as it progresses. Although there is a testnet available and it is intended that the project follow the specifications set forth in this document, with the team endeavoring to work towards those ends, regulation mechanisms after the transfer of tokens from ERC20 to the project’s own blockchain are unclear, and changes may be required to be made to the specifications of UGAS for any number of reasons.

Non-comprehensive whitepaper

In the whitepaper, there are lock ups specified for the core team only. There is no description of any lock ups or vesting terms for other participants in the token distribution; the “speed” of mining is not disclosed either. Details of the ICO require further elaboration, including private placement dates, min/max contributions, and bonuses/discounts, so it is not possible to evaluate the effect of bonuses on the token’s price. Marketing activity plans are absent. Given that there is a publicly available testnet and the hardcap is already reached, the above mentioned factors do not significantly increase the risk for potential investors; this implies a medium risk level.    

Non-comprehensive roadmap

The roadmap has the following disadvantages: Milestones are not detailed; they cover mostly general aspects of the project and do not directly lay out the technical or business development process – e.g. when and how marketing activities will be performed, how many users for the platform the company intends to achieve by the end of each stage, etc. or when each stage of the platform (alpha, beta, full-working product, etc.) will be released.

It is also unclear from the roadmap when the project plans to transfer the whole ecosystem to its own blockchain.

Token price decrease potential

The following points could potentially cause a decrease in the token price: There is no information regarding the number of tokens sold with bonuses, there are lock ups only for the core team, no description of the lock ups or vesting terms for other participants in the token distribution. According to information from the SSC, the distribution appears as follows: Half of tokens go to their owner, the other half go to an 0xb1 address (for mining). There is a vesting contract to which the money will be transferred, the owner will then set the duration of vesting and further control all data, which is a risk. The core team’s tokens should be locked for 3 years, but as we have already mentioned, as of the date of this report, no tokens have yet been sent to the vesting contract.

Based on the analysis we have performed, and taking into consideration all risks associated with Ultrain as of November 2018, we assign the project a “Stable +” rating.

Project & ICO information

Ultrain aims to create a ‘programmable business society’ by producing the first-ever operational blockchain ecosystem capable of performing process-level life cycle management for smart contracts. Ultrain is dedicated to solving the issues with existing blockchain infrastructure layer technology through  breakthrough innovations on the blockchain consensus algorithm, the design of operation system architecture, edge computation and blockchain network governance.

According to available information, there will be no public sale.

The project has the following public pages:

Website

Whitepaper

Yellowpaper

Twitter

Medium

Telegram

Facebook

LinkedIn

 

PRE-SALE

PUBLIC SALE

Start date

No

No public sale announced

End date

No

No public sale announced

Project type

Blockchain infrastructure

 

 

Ticker

UGAS

Token

ERC-20 (until the transfer to the own blockchain)

Token supply (for sale/total)

100,000,000 / 1,000,000,000

Soft cap

No

Hard cap (according icodrops.com)

USD 20,000,000

 

Estimated capitalization (Total valuation = Hard cap/tokens for sale * total token supply)

 ~ USD 200 mln

Token price

1 UGAS = 0.2 USD

 

 

Discounts/Bonuses

No (no data)

 

Lock-ups

Yes, for the core team

 

Min/Max contribution

No data

 

 

Currencies accepted

BTC, ETH

 

 

Restricted list

China, USA

 

 

KYC procedures

Yes

 

 

Limited token supply

Yes

 

 

Country of legislation

Singapore

 

 

According to information from bitcoinexchangeguide, the project has already collected its hard cap of USD 20,000,000.

On 1st November the following was announced via the project’s Twitter account:

  • Ultrain is giving out 10 UGAS per person for the 20 most active participants in the project’s Telegram group every day throughout November
  • Another promotion based around halloween - Post your costume pictures with Ultrain’s logo on Twitter and @UltrainB for free tokens:

3 likes = 50 UGAS

3 likes+3 retweets = 100 UGAS

However, there is no information on the number of tokens allocated to these programs, thus it is hard to estimate their effect on the token’s price.

The following distribution scheme is presented on the project’s website:

Detailed content is as follows:

  • Private placement - Private investors consist of institutions and specialists with great influence both inside and outside the industry. These investors have abundant industry resources, and have been very helpful and instructive in both technology and business development. They are critical to the implementation of the Ultrain business ecosystem.
  • Mining - 50% of UGAS is generated by mining. The Ultrain team will not pre-mine UGAS.
  • Consultant & community building - This portion of the fund is used for the promotion and construction of the Ultrain community. It will be used to promote community recognition and understanding of Ultrain, so that more people can join the Ultrain community to make contributions and advance the realization of a ‘programmable business society’.
  • Foundation/Ecology - The foundation will select industries with blockchain implementation application prospects and competent teams, strategically deploy in these industries, invest technology and capital in competent teams, and facilitate the early implementation of blockchain business applications on Ultrain.
  • Core team - The core founding team has contributed human and material resources as well as technology to enable the project to progress towards ‘building a programmable business society’. UGAS is issued as payment for their contribution. 1/6 of total UGAS allocated to the founding team will be unlocked once every six months from the date of issuance, over the next three years.

The team has provided the following funding allocation scheme:

Detailed explanation:

  • Technology development - Mainly to remunerate the initial development team, for recruitment of specialists and developers, technology patents and intellectual property protection, and other related activities.
  • Business & ecosystem development - Business implementation, foreign investment, expansion and training, technical exchange and sharing, publication of periodicals, creation of corporate alliances/industry alliances, etc.
  • Daily operations - The need for routine logistical management of the foundation, transportation and office, finance and reporting, etc.

We would like to highlight the following:

  • In the whitepaper there are lock ups detailed only for the core team. There is no description of any lock ups or vesting terms for other participants in the token distribution, and rates of mining are not specified either.
  • According to information from the SSC, the distribution looks as follows: Half of tokens go to the owner, the other half goes to an 0xb1 address (for mining). There is a vesting contract to which the money will be transferred; the owner will then set the duration of vesting and further control all data, which is a risk. The core team’s tokens should be locked for 3 years, but as already mentioned, to date no tokens have been sent to the vesting contract.
  • Regulation mechanisms after token transfer from ERC20 to the project’s own blockchain are unclear.
  • The ICO details require further specification of details such as private placement dates, min/max contributions, bonuses/discounts, so it is impossible to evaluate the effect of bonuses on the token’s price.

A lack of any stated planned marketing activities.

Technical overview

The project is committed to providing a computing service called trusted computing. The project’s team affirms that this is a brand-new computing service model based on blockchain architecture, in contrast to traditional cloud computing. Components such as CPU computing, GPU computing, memory computing are optimized for processing huge data batches and performing the same operation over and over quickly, and whilst a CPU is ideal for handling a few software threads at a time, memory computing, hard disk resources, bandwidth resources and others can all be included in the scope and framework of this model. All these will take on the characteristics of blockchain computing i.e. they will be difficult to tamper with, lack the ability to be destroyed, and possess transparency and traceability.

According to information in the whitepaper, Ultrain is composed of a main chain and side chains. The main chain is intended for guaranteeing the security of the entire system and for secondary confirmation of calculation results of the side chains. Therefore, the main chain requires high transaction per second (TPS) performance, whereas confirmation times can be longer. A side chain functions as the running environment of a specific dAapp, and each dApp can choose to form its own side chain. Since the side chains are the business system for real services, they require short and quick confirmation times but not high TPS performance.

Technical details are available in the project’s yellow paper.

In general, the core technology of the Ultrain Consensus is VRF+BFT. The introduction of parallel technology and fragmentation technology greatly improves performance for the system, expands the security of the system through device credibility, and achieves maintenance level of PoW for further improvement of system performance. The VBFT algorithm combines Proof of Stake (PoS), VRF (Verifiable Random Function) and Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT).

VBFT is an advanced version of BFT from the perspective of VRF. The VBFT algorithm executes in various steps. Initially, consensus candidate nodes are selected based on the VRF. Then block verification nodes are set, followed by confirmation nodes. The process ends with the selection of the final node set.

The randomness generated by VRF is very difficult to predict, hence VBFT concentrates on improving resistance against attacks on the consensus algorithm.

A comparison of the most common consensus mechanisms is displayed below:

Based on VBFT, the project proposes its own R-PoS consensus. The core idea of R-PoS is to change the selection method of participating in the consensus node from entrusted election to a random selection process on the basis of DPoS (precisely, with the help of VBFT). Consensus nodes not only protect the decentralization of the network, but also greatly improve performance. Each round of the R-POS consensus mechanism can be separated into four different stages (Role confirmation stage >>> Parallel consensus stage >>> Parallel BA stage >>> Broadcasting the blocks identified to the whole network). Each round of consensus confirmation takes 10 seconds.

Each node’s role is determined in the current round of consensus by applying the VRF function. In each round of consensus, the roles of nodes are divided into three types:

In order to improve efficiency for the consensus, Ultrain also introduces fragmentation technology. Ultrain’s sharding technology takes into account both data and data storage sharding. The core idea is that when processing across shards, data needs to be stored across them redundantly.

Overall, we would like to highlight the following points:

  • The smart contracts are going to be built on C/C++, TS/JS, Golang, they are intended to be renewable (of course, it will be possible to create unrenewable contracts too).
  • There is a Truffle analog which can be checked at this link. It enables the creation and testing of smart contracts. Examples of SC and dApps can be viewed again on the project’s GitHub.
  • According to data available on GitHub where the project’s blockchain code can be found, the consensus and SC deployment are already released; however the P2P network, storage and virtual machine modules are not yet released.
  • Technical information regarding the virtual machine (as a part of the blockchain machine learning platform) requires further clarification.

Description of services & their applicability

The advent of the information revolution is driving businesses to expand borders and streamline processes. The unfolding of a brand new business society is witnessed, where all things are increasingly visible, interconnected and exchanged, which could be considered a “programmable business society”. In this society, the commercial logic of trillions of business transactions that take place daily will migrate from traditional to smart business contracts, which are automatically executed and realized through the control and delegation of resources in the Internet of Things (IoT) by blockchain. Decision-making during this automatic execution process will increasingly be driven by decentralized artificial intelligence (AI) that operates on the blockchain. This will take over most computational and decision-making tasks, enabling highly efficient, reliable automated processing.

The vision of Ultrain is to advance the realization of a programmable business society.

The business ecosystem comprises several business elements. Overall, it consists of three parts:

Features of this blockchain infrastructure are as follows:

  • Public Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network:

At the heart of the programmable business society lies a programmable business consensus. The key to this consensus is to shift the basis of trust from conventional contracts to technology, with the latter ensuring consensus agreement cannot be tampered with, forged or destroyed, and is transparent and verifiable for all.

From the perspective of IT infrastructure, the entire network needs to be a public, open peer-to-peer (P2P) network with no master-slave distinction and no special nodes. At the same time, this must be a low-concentration network to ensure the plurality of participants, which will to a large degree ensure that no individual or small group of nodes could seize control of the network, and also prevents attacks from people with malicious intent.

  • Support for large-scale business applications:

There are two main issues the project is aiming to solve: Low system trading performance and low smart contract performance.

  • Value computation enables the real economy:

Currently, in order to maintain security of the existing PoW-based public blockchain system, a large amount of its computing and electric power is used for hash value calculation. This highly resource-intensive and low value-for-money approach is unsustainable. Any new public blockchain infrastructure requires less computation to support the operation of the public blockchain system, which in turn, frees up substantial computing power, to be reorganized and re-deployed for purposeful computation, empowering the real economy to create social value.

As IT infrastructure, it supports the realization of decentralized business logic, which is crucial to the programmable business society.

  • User-friendly smart contracts
  • AI support
  • IoT device support
  • DApp development:

To provide comprehensive support and services to DApp developers and allow DApp developers to develop applications more easily and conveniently, Ultrain on the one hand offers comprehensive developer tools and development environment support; on the other hand it provides rich business components and functional components, including identity authentication, a credit system, an oracle machine and zero-knowledge proof on the chain, enabling DApp developers to quickly build their own business applications. Most on-chain components of Ultrain are developed by Ultrain’s technical partners. When using these components to provide services, DApps will directly pay service fees in the form of UGAS, and these fees will be paid to on-chain component developers.

We would like to point out that the project’s plans are really ambitious. Features of the project are described in some detail, but building a completely new blockchain infrastructure ecosystem requires a major effort, and taking into account current market conditions it might be challenging to attract enough customers.

However, the project already has already a blockchain explorer for its testnet which is functional. It is unclear why the majority of blocks are without transactions (which is a negative factor). Positive factors include the fact that it is possible to check all available transactions and blocks. The account mechanism is implemented in an interesting manner (all transactions go to the username, not the digital address). To date, there are 822 accounts. There is also a section where transactions with tokens can be performed.

Roadmap

The following roadmap is presented in the whitepaper and on the project’s website:

We believe the roadmap has the following problems:

  • Milestones are not detailed, and they cover mostly general aspects of the project and do not directly lay out the technical or business development process – e.g. when and how marketing activities will be performed, how many users of the platform the company intends to attain by the end of each stage, etc. and when each stage of the platform (alpha, beta, full-working product, etc.) will be released.
  • It is unclear at what point the project plans to transfer the entire ecosystem to its own blockchain.

Market outlook

Market overview

Despite Bitcoin’s price decline and a bear market trend, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies became an attractive investment tool for private investors, venture capitalists and hedge funds in 2018.

The market niche for infrastructure blockchain platforms in general bears little to no regulation risks. Current infrastructure blockchain projects mostly offer smart contracts, DApps or mining.

Smart contracts are a truly revolutionary tool. They have the potential to decentralize many of the processes we all currently rely on. The exciting thing is that they have the power to dramatically improve on existing solutions without being a direct threat to governments.

Smart contracts are one application of blockchain technology that enables organizations, governments, legal bodies and individuals to exchange monetary value, properties, shares, bonds with a value and contracts in a clear way, avoiding any conflict and without the need for middlemen. A key factor in the growth in popularity of smart contracts is their tendency to not only define the rules and regulations of an agreement but also automatically enforce any of its obligations. A smart contract can be used for any situation from financial, insurance premiums, contract breaches, property law and much more. These applications have shown decent growth and are expected to grow significantly more in the forecasted period, catering to end-user businesses such as banks, governments, insurance, real estate, the supply chain and others. Government smart contracts could facilitate a significant step in the development of voting and other legal formalities and tenders issued by those in power. These may include any agreement made between governments and private or public enterprises.

A second significant use case is, of course, decentralized applications. A DApp in general can be thought of as a normal application, but with the big difference that it is completely autonomous and transparent. DApps work on self-executing smart contracts, so the middleman is completely cut out.

According to a Reuters survey, the smart contracts market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 32% up to 2023.

Based on historical data on market capitalization from coinmarketcap.com, this forecast can be visualized as follows:

Digital technology has become globally dominant. The old mainframe digital technology managed data in batches, now digital data is managed in real time over the internet. Blockchain brings digital technology into real-time computing systems management. It has the ability to change all aspects of the digital economy, including conducting business, delivering healthcare, shopping, enhancing education and learning, entertainment, and staying connected with a social world.

Infrastructure blockchain projects are subject to various risks and market sentiments, but they still need to mature in the near future.

Competitive landscape

To evaluate the competitive landscape, the Porter’s Five Forces framework is used.

  • Threat of new entrants – Medium/ High.

The level of competition remains high, there is effectively an absolute market leader in Ethereum, but at the same time there are really significant problems (impossible triangle, etc.), which can’t be solved by Ethereum due to a variety of circumstances, and some other projects are more successful in solving these issues. At the same time, the number of new projects appearing on the market is decreasing. Thus, the overall threat of new entrants can be accessed as medium-to-high.

  • Threat of substitutes – Medium.

The threat of substitutes is medium, as although the advantages of blockchain use are very evidently promising, and direct payment solutions and crypto currencies are a substitute for traditional banking solutions and fiat currency use, the traditional market is still more popular and widely used.

  • Bargaining power of customers – High/Medium.

The bargaining power of customers and investors can be assessed as high-to-medium. The Ultrain project will focus on the creation of a programmable business society that should be welcomed both by the community and by investors.

  • Bargaining power of suppliers – Low/Medium.

The supply side of the Ultrain project includes third-party teams which will be able to develop service components, and also DApps developers. The power of these groups can be assessed as low-to-medium.

  • Industry rivalry – High.

Competition in the blockchain infrastructure market is extremely high, there are already both established, well-known projects and promising newcomers. Below is a comparison of Ultrain with several competitive projects.

 

Ultrain

Cardano

Zilliqa

EOS

Ticker

UGAS

ADA

ZIL

EOS

Project type

Blockchain infrastructure

Blockchain infrastructure

Blockchain infrastructure

Blockchain infrastructure

Token type

Utility (ERC20)

Cryptocurrency

Utility (ERC20)

Utility (ERC20)

Algorithm

R-PoS (VBFT)

Ourobos (PoS)

pBFT

DPoS

Description of services and features

Public Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network; User-Friendly Smart contracts; AI support; IoT device support; DApp development, etc.

Smart contracts, DApps, wallet, a debit card which can be linked to ADA accounts; ADA tokens are available from cash machines (in Japan)

Smart contracts, DApps, highly scalable

Commercial DApps, smart contracts

Key users

Miners, DApp developers, DApp users

DApp developers, all types of user

Miners & all types

of user

DApp developers, common user

Development

stage

Testnet is available

Testnet is available

Mainnet was planned to be launched in Q3 2018, now postponed to January 2019

Mainnet is live

ICO status

No public sale, only private

Ended

Ended

Ended

Funds collected as of ICO date/Hard cap)

USD 20,000,000/ USD 20,000,000

~ USD 62,000,000/ No data

USD 22,000,000/ USD 22,000,000

USD 4,197,956,135/ Not set

Total tokens

1,000,000,000

45,000,000,000

21,000,000,000

1,000,000,000

Tokens for sale

100,000,000

25,927,070,538

7,000,000,000

900,000,000

Valuation at ICO date (Hardcap/% of tokens for sale )

~ USD 200 mln

n/a

USD 73 mln

n/a

Market cap

No data

USD 1.8 bn

USD 272 mln

USD 4.7 bn

The Ultrain team understands the tough competition within the market it is entering, and the fact that all the established players like EOS, Zilliqa, Cardano and others not mentioned above, are way ahead in their roadmaps, which include mainnet and testnet launches. However, Ultrain is an ambitious project, aiming to remove all the bottlenecks current blockchain is facing - decentralization, security and high performance. Each of the projects above has its issues, such as too much centralization (Cardano & EOS), recent phishing attacks (EOS), delays with mainnet release (Zilliqa), but as can be seen from the table above (regarding successful performance of Ultrain’s competitors), the project has bright prospects in the event it manages to provide all its promised features.

However, we would like to compare Ultrain with one not presented in the table: Algorand - as these two projects are very similar in their aims and technical aspects, especially regarding consensus structure (VBFT). Algorand is a decentralized digital currency and transaction platform, founded by cryptography pioneer and Turing award winner Silvio Micali.

Algorand also solves the “blockchain trilemma” with a platform that delivers decentralization, scalability and security. It also provides a foundation for existing businesses and new projects to operate globally in the emerging decentralized economy. Algorand actually pioneered the use of VRF to perform secret cryptographic sortition to select committees to run a consensus protocol. For the first step (the role confirmation phase), each node first uses VRF to generate a voucher and then uses this voucher to randomly select nodes to participate in that round of consensus; the second phase involves grading consensus and the 3rd is the binary Byzantine phase; however, unlike Ultrain, Algorand has also implemented smart contracts support, not just transactions.

The projects have similar investment group structures consisting of venture capital funds and the cryptocurrency and financial services communities, but Algorand privately collected USD 62 mln whereas Ultrain has collected USD 20 mln. At the same time, social media coverage and hype for the Algorand project is much higher than Ultrain.

Both projects have publicly available testnets, released in late July by Algorand and in October by Ultrain.

Ultrain released a concept network for R-POS in early July, and the team deployed the Ultrain system to 1000 nodes on the public Amazon cloud. After actual testing, the network could reach an average of 3000 TPS, with a confirmation time of 10 seconds. Its performance far exceeds the existing Blockchain 3.0 project. In addition, it is expected that sharding technology will be deployed simultaneously after the publication of Ultrain’s network in April 2019. At that time, TPS for the network could be improved by a factor of several dozen times.

In summary, both projects are strong, however Ultrain is more open in nature than the Algorand project which can be considered as a pro factor; both projects have strong teams and powerful investors, testnets and open-source codes, thus it is currently hard to estimate which one will be more successful, especially taking into account other established platforms already present on the market including Ethereum, whose merits in are hard to dispute.

Team

The project is technically complex, therefore it is important to be sure that team members’ experience is sufficient. The following foundation structure is available in the project’s documentation:

  • Decision-Making Committee

The decision-making committee is the supreme decision-making body of the Ultrain foundation. It takes all final decisions. The committee is responsible for preparing strategic and annual plans, managing budgets and voting on important matters related to the Ultrain ecosystem on behalf of the foundation.

  • Executives

Executives are selected by the decision-making committee to manage and report on the daily operation of the foundation. It is also responsible for coordinating work among subordinate committees and organizing decision-making meetings.

  • Technical Committee

The technical committee is responsible for the overall research and development of the foundation as well as the design and development of basic technologies and related intellectual property. It is also responsible for actively communicating with community members and players in the ecosystem and organizing scientific research seminars.

  • Marketing and Public Relations Committee

The marketing and public relations committee is responsible for community building and public relations management. It is committed to introducing more collaborators to the Ultrain ecosystem by means of marketing campaigns and BD.

  • Finance and Human Resources Committee

The finance and human resources committee is responsible for auditing the financial operations of the foundation, as well as employee recruitment and employee welfare management.

Names of each committee member are not provided. The following team details are available:

Founding team

 

Rui Guo

Emma Liao

Position

Co-founder & CEO

Co-founder & CSO

Total experience

10+ years

10+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Yes

Professional achievements

Former technical director of Alibaba;

Former senior architect for IBM.

Founder and chairman of Pioneer Capital

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

296

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

Yes

 

 

Ning Li

Yufeng Shen

Position

Co-founder & CTO

Chief architect

Total experience

10+ years

10+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Yes

Professional achievements

Holder of 6 patents;

Former TD of blockchain techniques @ Ant Financial;

Former main architect for Aliyun OS (Alibaba group)

Former senior tech expert @ Alibaba;

Former senior software architect @ Google

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

115

356

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Husen Wang

 

Position

Chief cryptologist

 

Total experience

4 years

 

Relevant experience

Yes

 

Relevant education

Yes

 

Professional achievements

Former blockchain specialist @ Ant Financial

 

LinkedIn

Yes

 

Connections

42

 

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

 

 Technical team

 

Liangqin Fan

Bingying Wang

Position

Senior software development engineer

Senior technology specialist

Total experience

10+ years

5+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

No data

Professional achievements

Former senior software engineer @ Alibaba

Former head of front-end engineering @ Ant Financial

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

55

37

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Zhongwei Zhang

Honglu Lei

Position

Senior technical expert

Senior technical expert

Total experience

10+ years

10+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Yes

Professional achievements

Former senior development engineer @ Ericsson

Former senior software development engineer @ Motorola

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

32

101

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Yu Su

Enpeng Feng

Position

Senior software engineer

Technology specialist

Total experience

5+ years

5+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

No data

Professional achievements

Former senior development engineer @ Nokia

Former senior software engineer @ iSoftStore

LinkedIn

 

 

Connections

296

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

Yes

 

 

Xiaofen Qing

Wei Liu

Position

Software engineer Technology specialist

Total experience

5+ years

3 years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Yes

Professional achievements

Formerly software specialist @Alibaba & software engineer @ Motorola

No

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

21

21

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Xiao Wang

Mao Ye

Position

Senior network specialist

Technology specialist

Total experience

10+ years

10+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

No data

Yes

Professional achievements

Former chief of architecture @ Huawei Former senior development engineer @ Hundsun & Tektronix Communications

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

26

25

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Huichao Yan

Feifei Liu

Position

Technology specialist Nodes development engineer

Total experience

3 years

5 years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Yes

Professional achievements

Yes

No

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

35

20

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Zhou Zhou

Wenyu Rong

Position

Senior engineer

Product manager

Total experience

10+ years

3 years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

No data

No data

Professional achievements

Former senior engineer @ Huawei

Founder and chairman of Pioneer Capital

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

296

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Peng Liao

Kaixin Zhang

Position

Software development engineer Front-end web developer

Total experience

5+ years

3 years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Тщ вфеф

Professional achievements

No

No

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

24

27

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

Strategy, Marketing and Community team

 

Richard Li

Qian Qian

Position

VP of strategy Senior strategy manager

Total experience

1 year (according LinkedIn)

5+ years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Yes

Professional achievements

VP of Pioneer Capital Solutions Formerly senior analyst @ Pioneer Capital & Grant Thornton

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

296

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Feng Wu

Lilin Li

Position

Strategy analyst Community operation

Total experience

5+ years

4 years

Relevant experience

Yes

Yes

Relevant education

Yes

Yes

Professional achievements

No

No

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

178

24

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

 

Yixin Ren

Teng Qian

Position

Community operation Director of design

Total experience

No data

5+ years

Relevant experience

No data

Yes

Relevant education

No data

No data

Professional achievements

No

Former senior UI designer @ Baidu Inc.

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

37

72

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

As can be seen from above, the team’s composition is quite diverse; together with technical specialists in blockchain, there are team members with extensive experience in financial matters. In general, the team seems quite complete and professionally of a high standard. As disadvantages we should note a lack of popularity of some LinkedIn accounts (very few contacts and lack of recommendations), which may be related to the fact that most team members are Chinese citizens and it is quite a task to verify the degree of their expertise and professionalism via LinkedIn.

We also wish to highlight the fact that job titles for technical team members are not disclosed either on the project’s website nor in the whitepaper. The above information was taken from team members’ LinkedIn accounts.

Advisors

 

 

Keyu Jin

Luyu Yang

Position

Advisor

Advisor

Total experience

15+ years

15+ years

Relevant experience

No (as blockchain Advisor) No (as blockchain Advisor)

Relevant education

Yes

Yes

Professional achievements

Professor at LSE

PhD in Economics (Harvard)

Co-founder & co-CEO of musical.ly Inc.

LinkedIn

Yes

Yes

Connections

296

500+

Endorsements / Recommendations

No

No

 

We wish to highlight firstly there are only two advisors and there are no links for their LinkedIn accounts, so it is hard to confirm their experience. We discovered their accounts independently; there is no stated affiliation with the project.

According to the whitepaper, the following investors have already contributed:

The Ultrain team has already established a group of business partners, including but not limited to Taihe Media, UC Express, Moving Cloud Tech, Bgogo, Unitopia lab, H-CRM, etc. and the following (according to the website): FBG Capital, NGC, Zorax Capital, etc., but the nature of most partnerships remains unclear as there are no official press releases. Partnerships with Bgogo and Unitopia lab are confirmed via the Medium account.

Token analytics

The Ultrain UGAS token is an ERC-20 compliant token to be issued on the Ethereum blockchain. As the project builds its own blockchain ecosystem, it is planned to transfer tokens from ERC20 to the project blockchain. There is no date specified for this.

UGAS is the foundation of the Ultrain economic system: UGAS is a tool for billing and settlement within Ultrain, with an upper limit of 1 billion tokens. Further details, including economic parameters, will be disclosed after further testing and adjustment is done on the public chain when it goes online.

Briefly, main token uses are as follows:

There are two main components of the UGAS system:

The entire economic ecology of Ultrain can be presented in the following way:

The ecosystem has the following participants:

  • Miners

There are two types of mining:

  • Ultrain development and operation team

5% of UGAS output every year will be allocated to the foundation for maintaining and operating the platform, which will be further distributed by the foundation to the Ultrain development and operation team

  • Ultrain community

5% of UGAS output will be allocated to the hub leader of the most active community based on the smart contract; the amount allocated to different leaders depends on results of a poll held by the community

  • Third-party service provider

Third-party teams can develop third-party service components that serve different purposes on Ultrain for DApps to invoke at runtime. DApps must pay UGAS as fees for use of third-party services. 80% of UGAS paid will be allocated to third-party component developers, and 20% will be destroyed.

  • DApp developer

DApp developers will develop their own DApps on Ultrain. To run the smart contract aspect of DApps, UGAS must be paid to Ultrain as a service fee before a DApp can use Ultrain’s computing power. DApp developers are required to purchase the corresponding UGAS from a digital currency exchange. UGAS is priced based on the market; 10% of the annual output will be allocated to the most active DApp developer, and the amount allocated to different DApp developers depends on the result of a poll held by the community.

  • DApp user

Users of DApps pay for their use, and part of any payment will be transferred to the Ultrain network as a usage fee for Ultrain smart contracts, injecting actual economic value into the network.

The tokenomics description is very detailed and extensive, and the rationale for issuing a native token is clear. However, we would like to highlight the following issues:

  • Fees are not specified, so it is impossible to evaluate future cash flow.

It is not clear how the tokens will be regulated after the transfer of ERC20 tokens to the project’s own blockchain tokens, or when the transfer itself will happen.

Token price factor analysis

We identified some key factors that may affect the token’s price:

FACTOR

DESCRIPTION

PRICE EFFECT

Demand for the service

At the date of analysis (early November 2018) it is hard to predict demand for the platform once it is fully released. However, considering the fact that the team is developing a new blockchain ecosystem platform, demand within the platform depends on the number of users attracted and the success and timeliness of each developed ecosystem component.

⬆⬆⬇

Development and release of each stage of the product

Whether or not the team is meeting its milestones, as well as the degree of product development at each stage, will be factors that drive token prices up or down. It is unclear from the roadmap when the transfer date from Ethereum to the proprietary blockchain will be, but taking into account that there is a working testnet, this won’t significantly affect token price.

⬆⬇

Vesting terms not specified

There are vesting terms only for the core team; information for other token distribution participants is not specified. However, as we can see in the SSC, there is a vesting contract to which the money will be transferred, and then the owner will set the duration of vesting and control all data, which is a risk. The core team’s tokens should be locked for 3 years, but as already mentioned, no tokens have been sent to the vesting contract to date. The above-mentioned information increases the risk of a token price decrease due to potential selling of tokens once listed on exchanges.

⬇⬇

Volatility of cryptomarket

Although the platform, token and product do not seem to have speculative purposes, the high volatility of cryptomarkets may cause traders and speculative investors, especially at first, to trade UGAS - which may lead to token price fluctuations for the token or even speculative activities (pump and dump, etc.).

⬆⬇

Limited token supply

Assuming that the company develops as intended, and demand for the solution is sufficient, a limited token supply could result in long-term deflation of the token’s price.

Investment risk analysis

RISK

DESCRIPTION

LEVEL

Market/competitors risks

Competition within the blockchain infrastructure market is extremely high, starting with Ethereum which remains the major player; Zilliqa, EOS, NEO, ICON, etc., which historically have much “hype” around them, and still show fairly strong market performance; and ending with newcomer-projects like Algorand, which are even closer to solving the ‘blockchain triangle’ of problems.

High

Development risks

The project is still under development, and may undergo significant changes over time. Although there is a testnet available and it is intended that the project follows specifications set forth in this document, with the team endeavoring to work towards those ends, regulation mechanisms after the token’s transfer from ERC20 are unclear, and changes to the specifications of UGAS may be required for any number of reasons.

 Medium/ High

 

Incomprehensive whitepaper

The whitepaper has the following issues:

  • In the whitepaper there are lock ups only for the core team. There is no description of lock ups or vesting terms for other participants in the token distribution, and the “speed” of mining is not disclosed.
  • ICO details requires further specification; private placement dates, min/max contributions, bonuses/discounts are not disclosed, so it’s impossible to evaluate the effect of bonuses on the token’s price.
  • The lack of planned marketing activities.

Given that there is a publicly available testnet and the hard cap is already reached, all the above information does not significantly increase risks for potential investors; a medium risk level is therefore implied.

 Medium

 

Roadmap

The roadmap has the following disadvantages:

  • Milestones are not detailed; they mostly cover general aspects of the project and do not directly lay out the technical or business development process – e.g. when and how marketing will be carried out, how many users of the platform the company intends to recruit by the end of each stage, etc. or when each stage of the platform (alpha, beta, full-working product, etc.) will be released.
  • It is unclear from the roadmap when the project plans to transfer the ecosystem to its own blockchain.

Medium

 

Token price decrease

The following points could potentially cause a token price decrease:

  • There is no information regarding the number or portion of tokens sold with bonuses.
  • There are lock ups only for the core team, and no description of lock ups or vesting terms for other participants in the token distribution.
  • According to information from the SSC, the distribution is as follows: half of tokens go to the owner, the other goes to an 0xb1 address (mining). There is a vesting contract to which the money will be transferred, and then the owner will set duration of vesting and control all data, which is a risk. The core team’s tokens should be locked for 3 years, but as mentioned above, no tokens have been sent to the vesting contract to date.

Medium

Advisor/Partnerships established

The declared advisors are not affiliated with the project via LinkedIn; links to their accounts are not provided on the project’s website.

The nature of most partnerships remains unclear, as there are no official press releases.

Medium/ Low

Low social-media coverage

We understand that there is no public sale, but since Ultrain plans to focus on the creation of a ‘programmable business society’, this should be welcomed both by the community and by investors.

Medium/ Low

The information contained in the document is for informational purposes only. 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.