ICO Analysis - Cypherium (CYP) Token
ICO Analysis - Cypherium (CYP) Token
Dan Stevenson
Dan Stevenson
January 10, 2018
6 min
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CYP have some unique and interesting ideas but is lacking in execution, expertise, strategy, growth, communication, transparency and partnership building.

  • Possibly to achieve faster transaction rates.
  • Improved consensus algorithm.

  • Unknown team, with little experience.
  • Poor communication, transparency it detail provided by a company of this valuation.
  • No clear goals on how they will achieve their objectives.

Cypherium is focused on addressing key shortcomings of current public blockchain infrastructures. Presently, transaction scalability comes largely at the cost of decentralization, and the commercial adoption of blockchain technology has been impeded by insufficient infrastructure. By providing fundamental building blocks for developers to create groundbreaking applications, and an intuitive interface for users to access these functionalities, Cypherium aims to provide a comprehensive foundation for the future of blockchain technology.

Cypherium Website

Cypherium (CYP) ICO Fast Facts

  • ICO Crowdsale Start Date: December 2017 (private sale) and public sale in Q2 2018.
  • Maximum Discount: Private sale at $1.50 USD per Cypher and limited to 3 million units (minimum buy is 20 ETH for individuals and 250 for institutions). ICO minimum price is $2 USD for 30 million Cyphers.
  • Platform: ERC20 Hybrid PoW and Byzantine fault tolerance consensus.
  • Amount Raised: Goal $25m USD (16.5% of supply available for sale).

Cypherium (CYP) Utility

Cypherium (CYP) aims to make a faster, cheaper, more secure blockchain that scales while still retaining decentralisation and trustlessness. It will use a hybrid PBFT (Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance)/PoW (Proof of Work) blockchain model. The plan is to have two separate chains, one for transactions and another for verification/governance. As a result of using a chain for governance, the block size will be flexible and the network will be highly adaptable. This helps stave off hard forks. Additionally, a sandbox for testing protocol upgrades and smart contracts will be available.

Acting as the base-layer-protocol (much like Ethereum), CYP will allow for the development of customisable high-speed D-Apps. These D-Apps will be capable of processing 1000s of transactions per second at a more realistic price than current coins. This will have amazing potential for enterprise-level applications across: finance, digital contract, messaging, voting, notarisation, secure data storage, IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (artificial intelligence). The total addressable market is well into the trillions.

The project, from website to whitepaper, leaves a lot of unanswered questions and is lacking in information. CYP has some really interesting features (multi-level governance, hybrid PBFT/PoW consensus mechanism, P2P upgrades without a central server) but I was left asking ‘how’. How is this different from other cryptocoins trying to do the same thing? How will they fill the blockchain and get nodes on board? How will they engage businesses and entice them to CYP ? Is this completely unique (coding/structure) or something other coins are doing? I tried asking questions in the Telegram channel, but they directed me back to the white paper.

The white paper reads more like a college paper summary of blockchain knowledge. With the exception of a brief mention of Basic Attention Token (BAT), I really couldn’t find direct comparisons or use cases. Though I have no engineering or coding expertise, it is worth mentioning their coding is not available on GitHub either. Also, details on capital distribution, finances in general and vesting timelines are omitted.

Could CYP change the game? The persistent issues of speed and cost with current cryptocoins means that something will eventually give – we can’t just keep forking coins. The key to their, or any coins, success will be adoption at the back and front end. Plain and simple. Without widescale adoption, this hypothetical blockchain will remain just that. The markets are highly valuing the base-layer-protocol-style coins even without any real runs on the board. Couple this with buzz words like “Google”, “Amazon” and “Microsoft” and I can see why CYP might peak the public’s interest.

Given the infancy of this project, it might be unfair to call it. However, they do not seem to have enough strategic partnerships in place. Furthermore, their lack of valuation and rollout strategy makes it a fairly risky venture for both short-term and long-term ROI.

Cypherium (CYP) Team

Sky Guo, Co-founder and Executive Officer, is are graduate of Pepperdine University and Draper “university”. His Linkedin Profile says he is currently the Founder of Cypherium and CEO of SQuery. SQuery looks like a forgotten high school project. A Gust listing and a WordPress blog, last updated in 2015, was all I could find. Despite claiming to have “conducted extensive research on present blockchain implementations and their source code”, there appears to be no work history or projects/research links to support this. Sky/Yangrui is a columnist for Caixin but I found only one opinion piece - on Cypherium. Sky contributions on social media seems to be minimal. His fingerprints are on Reddit as the gently guiding ‘g2com’ who is conspicuously helpful without providing any really useful information concerning CYP. I cannot see any managerial, leadership or project management experience to give me any faith in Sky.

Nate Ren, Co-founder and Operating Officer, has something resembling a proper Linkedin profile. Given the way Cypherium is pitched on the website and in the media, you would think that the core team have years of experience at big companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Ubisoft. Nate has a combined 18 months across Ubisoft and Microsoft.

Solomon Zhang, Co-founder and Lead Developer, received a BS, Computer Science degree in 2011 and since has been studying a PhD in AI. He is working for Nullmax Inc., a company established in 2016 to look at Autonomous driving. The information on this company is minimal but at least it is a registered business and has a listed physical address. I have no way to test whether or not his knowledge is as “profound and expansive” as he claims. Whatever profound and expansive means.

Across the three co-founders, there appears to be zero experience in running an actual company, let alone a multimillion dollar operation. This is a pretty large red flag for me. They appear to lack the capabilities required to lead a project of this magnitude to completion. I also question whether they have robust enough networks to break down the doors to the 100+ companies they will need to coax onboard for this project to have any chance of succeeding.

The project come with the blessing of Emin Gün Sirer and Bryan Ford from Bitcoin-NG and ByzCoin which lends credence to the viability of the technology. Emin seems to have a good reputation in the community. The blurb from Emin’s bloXroute Labs implies that it is bloXroute that will allow Cytherium to scale, solving Cytherium’s “scalability bottleneck”. CYP have a series of developers, analysts and affairs directors and I suppose the assumption is that if they can put together a good enough team, the project will take care of itself. A quick peak behind the curtain shows that one of their European connections was a college of Sky’s at Draper. I could dig deeper but after reviewing the core competencies of the lead players, I am not sure that I need to.

I cannot find where the company is registered. There is no information on the website and the whitepaper omits any financials though they do claim to be a US based team and I can track locations of their core team to NY, California, Silicon Valley and Shanghai (China).

Cypherium (CYP) Roadmap

CYP, conceptualised in 2016, lacks technical milestones or achievements. Instead, there is tracking of the private placement and ICO launch, as well as mentions of winning competitions and invitations to expos. Social media (Telegram, Reddit etc) on CYP is dominated by questions about the public ICO date however, the team has been very quiet with this.

The ‘testnet’ is due to be ready Q1 2018 with the main net ready in Q2. I believe they are still refining their code as it has not been released anywhere. Like the whitepaper, the roadmap is lacking a lot of key information. It fails to outline how a company that wants to raise $25million will be managed and what their strategic direction is. Perhaps the strategy does not exist past the raising of the capital.

Cypherium (CYP) Value

CYP will have a supply of 100m tokens in 2018 and has aimed to raise a total of $25m USD from private investors and a public ICO (TBC). This effectively values the tokens at $4 USD, which is extremely high for a theoretical blockchain with no strategic partnerships or any real success to point to. There is definitely room to grow into this valuation considering the total addressable market. However, CYP is well behind the pack. With little information on their roadmap, it is hard to see where they are going or how they will get there.

The team point to several reasons for the valuation. Firstly, in order to prevent Sybil attacks, each blockchain will require 100 miners which means the electricity cost for each miner will be high. If miners are not making money, they are not mining and then there is no blockchain. When questioned on their decision to make the initial sale private and requiring a minimum contribution of 20 ETH, the company line was that “most crypto pre-sales have higher requirements. Nebulas for example, requires a minimum of 100 eth contribution.”

I fear that institutional investors, who bought in at $1.50 (private sale), will dump the coin as soon as it lists for $4. Taking their profits while causing the coin to crash. It is what I would do.

Cypherium (CYP) Transparency

Finding information on CYP, without contacting the company directly, is very difficult. There is no registered address for the business on the website. They are ‘US based’ but I cannot find where. There are no financials on the website or in the whitepaper. There is no code on GitHub.

The experience of the core team seems very limited. While I am sure that they have people working for them who once worked at Google, Amazon or Microsoft; the key players are very green and lack real business experience. Their timeline and goals are also very vague.

Cypherium (CYP) Distribution

The whitepaper is severely lacking in information. There are no clear plans for how they will use their funds (although, note that 35m tokens are reserved for team) or what the vesting options are. Furthermore, the private sale appears to have gone ahead but details on the public ICO are vague.

Cypherium (CYP) Summary

CYP have some unique and interesting ideas but is lacking in execution, expertise, strategy, growth, communication, transparency and partnership building.

Crypto Coin Disclosure

The author is not affiliated with the above token or with the promotion/marketing thereof.
He does not hold any tokens and has not participated in the private or public sales.
No payment or private consultation was sought for this article.

Read about our transparency requirements.


Dan Stevenson

Dan Stevenson

Senior Contributor

Dan is a blockchain researcher and enthusiast with a long history investing in regular and emerging markets. In 2017, he started to research cryptocurrencies and ICOs but found that a lot of them were fundamentally flawed. Dan wanted to contribute to the space by sharing his research and insights on the projects he was looking at to help people evaluate ICOs – cutting through the hype to reveal the project fundamentals. He believes blockchain is the next revolution and offers excellent upside to the savvy investor.

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