ICO Analysis: Telcoin (TEL) TokenTelcoin is yet another token that is trying to make it easier to transfer money between users. It approaches this in a new way, by using the relationship that consumers have with their telcos already, in an attempt to gain mass adoption of the platform. Ultimately though, it has stiff competition with both the current big industry players, as well as other cryptocoins coming into the market (and the tried and tested originals as well!).UtilityTeamRoadmapValueTransparencyDistributionStrengths/OpportuntiesInteresting concept to build on the reach of mobile telco providersWeaknesses/ThreatsEstablished and new generation cryptocurrencies already fill the currency transfer spaceTeam has a questionable history of startups succeedingPoor practices already demonstrated during the ICO period2017-12-291.1Overall ScoreTelcoin is a new cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum blockchain that will be distributed by your national telecom operator and made available to everyone, anytime, anywhere. This is the core of our business, and mobile network operators will be at the center of our strategy. – Telcoin whitepaper Telcoin Token ICO Analysis (TEL) Telcoin Fast Facts ICO Crowdsale Start Date: 11 December 2017 Maximum Discount: 5% (purchase before $10m) Platform: ETH Amount Raised (Valuation): $25m USD (with a 25% crowdsale, values the company at $100m USD) Website: https://www.telco.in/ Telcoin Utility Telcoin seeks to partner with mobile telecommunication providers in order to become the defacto standard in blockchain currency for billions of mobile telephony users around the world. After achieving this status, they will take on the foreign transaction merchants (such as western union, transferwise, etc) to provide better value foreign transaction to consumers. Already, Telcoin (no coin abbreviation published yet) is gaining a serious amount of interest and hype for aiming to bring a blockchain based digital cash service to the general ma and pa user at home… And I can’t understand why! We already have digital cash systems with global awareness and minimal fees that allows users to exchange with anyone in the world instantly… Bitcoin (or Litecoin, or Ethereum or any other faster, cheaper alternative to Bitcoin). So what advantage does Telcoin offer? A fancy mobile based app? This is not a unique feature, there are many other coins with a mobile app. Advertising and reach of the telecommunications provider? Why not advertise with the Telco through the standard means, without the middle man? Nevermind that consumer trust in their telcos is already diminishing quickly. They promise instant transfers (at 0.5% fee to both send and receive) and low (less than 2%) foreign transaction fees. These aren’t exactly ground breaking figures here. Even outside the blockchain world there are regular, known and trusted providers who are able to compete in this space. What’s worse, is that they want to take blockchain technology to every countries’ individual regulators and have it approved for use in both the financial (banking provider) and telco sectors. For example, they will require a banking license to operate in Europe, money transmitter license to operate in United States of America, Cryptocurrency exchange license in Japan, remittance license to operate in South Africa… the list goes on for every country they wish to operate in! They haven’t even identified the type of licenses they’ll require to operate in the countries they are targeting in the next 6 months. Telcoin Team Co-founder and CEO Claude Eguienta studied in China and France before working out of Singapore as a co-founder of a startup Kabotip. Kabotip appears to have existed until February 2016 and then experienced some technical difficulties and disappeared that same month. He spent a total of 3 years on his startup and, with the support of the OnLab incubator, acquired a total user base of a couple of hundred users until their ultimate shutdown. Recently, he has been advising cryptocoin TenX with their recent ICO and launch. Claudes co-founder, Paul Neuner, founded Mobius, a fraud management solution that is used at 30 mobile operators globally. While he is currently the CEO of Mobius, it is unclear what other roles Paul has fulfilled in the decade between university and Mobius. Claude and Paul have surrounded themselves with a range of technical experts to assist with the development of the Telcoin stack, many coming from Claudes previous venture Kabotip. It is refreshing to see a core team not swamped with investors and other backers who may have a different motivation to the team. Telcoin Roadmap The roadmap is overwhelmed with the regulatory requirements to operate in their initial targeted countries. By mid 2018, they are aiming to allow consumers in one market to transfer cash into their wallet. In the 3rd quarter of 2018 they hope to “Initiate blockchain research and development plan for long term scalability and security”. It doesn’t fill me with confidence when items such as security and scalability are left so late in the development process! By the end of 2018, they aim to integrate with 2 MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator – a mobile services reseller) partner apps and have their iOS wallet ready for use. They also aim to have 100 million end users from at least 20 different mobile operates on their platform. This is also when they’ll look at integrating with at least one games company and one merchant to accept their tokens as payment. In 2019, they’ll add an Android app as well. The fund’s stated use is to cover the operations of Telecoin for the first 36 months, yet only ~12 months of roadmap has been provided. Telcoin Value Company valuation of $100m USD is incredible for an organisation I am struggling to see make a long term impact. I can see that a large amount of capital is required upfront, in order to buy their way into partnerships with the telcos. Infact 50% of the funds are allocated solely for this purpose. Telcoin Transparency Its currently not even halfway through the ICO, and yet there are already some irregularities with their social media campaign. A number of extremely positive reviews have been tagged as paid, with other undeclared reviews coming in from sources with a questionable history of not declaring paid content. The conduct of the ICO itself is a little unusual, with an excessive number of extreme bonuses (well above and beyond that declared on the website) handed out. This information has become public, with Telcoin starting to backtrack a bit here. This leaves some ICO syndicates unsure of the status of their promised bonus. Telcoin Distribution 25% distribution to crowdsale investor is a little low. However this is also matched with a low figure of 15% retained by the team (plus a strange 5% liquidity fund for unknown purposes). With 50% being assigned as incentives for telcos to sign up, this leaves a rather paltry 5% dedicated to the community and ongoing development. Telcoin Summary Telcoin is yet another token that is trying to make it easier to transfer money between users. It approaches this in a new way, by using the relationship that consumers have with their telcos already, in an attempt to gain mass adoption of the platform. Ultimately though, it has stiff competition with both the current big industry players, as well as other cryptocoins coming into the market (and the tried and tested originals as well!). All in all, I expect to see this disappear into a cold February night, like the Co-founder/CEOs last start-up venture. Crypto Coin Disclosure The author does not have Telcoin in his portfolio. No payment or private consultation was sought for this article. Read about our transparency requirements.