ICO Review: Menlo One

 · 13 mins read

Menlo One is a US-based framework for building decentralized applications with the speed of traditional web apps. Here is a complete project review by ICObazaar experts.

Table of contents:

Intro and Overview

Menlo One is a US-based framework for building decentralized applications with the speed of traditional web apps. The decentralized database and Proof-of-Reputation incentive system will enable the Web 3.0 generation of marketplaces, social media platforms, and future apps to be as fast and performant as their centralized predecessors.

There are a lot of projects on the market aiming to launch a full-fledged platform for dApps, social platforms for reviewing tokensales, marketplaces for promoting them (see the table below). But Menlo One is an interesting case of launching a social segment TownHall and a tokensale Marketplace based on Menlo One platform right away. This will allow users to get a full package of services to develop, distribute and promote their product within the same ecosystem.

Project nameMenlo One
Token symbolMET
Type of tokenutility
NetworkEthereum, ERC-20
Websitehttp://www.menlo.one/
White paperOpen WhitePaper
Hard cap$15 million/25,000 ETH
Price1 MET = $0.000083
Total Cap Size1,000,000,000 MET
CountryUSA
Team16 core members/ 8 advisers
ICO DatesJuly 16 - August 20 2018​
Public Sale ConditionsKYC, AML
Total Token Offered300 mln
Presale DateJune 26th, 2018 (Minimum purchase amount $10k)
Public Tokensale DateJuly 16th, 2018

Product description

Technology

Menlo One offers comprehensive blockchain crowdsale solution with deal-discovery, collaboration, and asset management. All Menlo One components address the critical limitations around user experience, security, and compliance that presently stymie widespread adoption. Using a distributed database makes the platform fundamentally decentralized. Using blockchain makes the whole ecosystem stable, transparent and secure and solves security vulnerabilities of the market.

Menlo One key technology is based on:

1. A desktop native app which runs an Ethereum node and can automate pre-approved transactions. It also includes features designed specifically to improve the user experience of buying tokens such as handling KYC identification related images.

2. A Proof-of-Reputation algorithm which leverages a Token-Curated Registry design pattern to incentivize virtuous contributions and promote network growth.

3. A decentralized database which caches data from decentralized networks to provide users the speed and experience of a traditional webapp, without compromising the security guarantees of a distributed blockchain.

Ecosystem

Menlo One ecosystem consists of 4 elements:

  • TownHall (Communication layer) – “an open-source framework, which allows developers to build innovative monetized or incentivized communications platforms and projects using the Menlo software”. It’s a social platform which allows to share opinions about blockchain projects and is completely decentralized that means that there’s no way to censor critical remarks or influence from the outside on the reputation of the product or user. It’s already working can be forked and used to create software right now.
  • Guilds (Governance) – TownHall users will form groups (Guilds) and then stake their reputation to earn rewards for their value from ICOs that hire them to make a professional review about the project. Guilds system will provide more accurate reviews (this expectation is based on the data of the Stanford study) and help identify and stop scammers.
  • Marketplace – decentralized trading platform for tokens, that will allow users to launch ICOs, to buy tokens, to store them in Menlo One wallet. The actual marketplace itself will not be out until the end of the year.
  • Core (Decentralized Database) – the central core of the entire product, which guarantees secure storage of data based on the block, while ensuring a high speed of processing and retrieving data, using a Proof-of-Reputation algorithm and the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).

Tokenomics

MET are "utility tokens". Menlo Token is supposed to be the keystone of the whole system. It’s an open source ERC20 compatible token on the Ethereum public blockchain. MET will be sold so developers have a fully functional product with which to build on.

How does MET flow:

1. Projects put Menlo Tokens into a Listing Contract on Ethereum. The contract is included in the Menlo App.

2. When a User requests a profile from the Content Node (that host a web app which pulls data from IPFS and Ethereum including the Project Profile and caches in a database on a performance machine), he includes his public key in the request. In the response the SContent Node returns a digital signature. Both parties then submit their keys and data to the Projects Listing Contract.

3. If successful, both parties are paid in MET. The User is paid for their attention. The Content Node is paid for data availability.

4. The Projects Listing Contract is also a REP Granter, and gives each actor REP tokens for a successful transaction.

Users will need to get a token-curated reputation score (REP), granted by smart contracts which take signals from events in the ecosystem. Users can earn REP a number of ways, including being a top rated commenter in TownHall, voting in TownHall, being part of a Guild, and buying tokens via Menlo Wallet. Each of these systems are operated by smart contracts with Granter privileges to give REP. Content Nodes earn REP by reliably serving data over time. For example, in TownHall users will get rewards for posting, voting and commenting activity.

Blockchain is clearly needed in this project as developers will need token to build their projects on the Marketplace, and also it has to be decentralized so that it can scale and can’t be corrupted by those who control it. The idea is once it exists, nobody can take it down, and the world can use it to crowdfund reliable projects.

Market and competitors

Overview

There is a number of similar projects that are developing fast after Ethereum introduced smart contracts for creating programs on-chain. Ethereum is the first, biggest, and most well-known dApps platform. EOS has just closed its tokensale with rather impressive results. There are also such projects as Lisk, QTUM, Cardano and NEO:

  • EOS is a decentralized operating system which can support industrial-scale decentralized applications without transaction fees and high TPS.
  • Lisk is a platform for blockchain applications in JavaScript, that allows allows developers to create sidechains (where you can even create new coins) connected to the mainchain (where all the transactions in main coin LSK are held).
  • QTUM is a decentralized and open-source smart contracts platform and value transfer protocol which focuses on mobile dapps. QTUM integrates the best parts of the Bitcoin and Ethereum platforms into a business-friendly blockchain.
  • NEO is a blockchain project “that utilizes blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and to realize a “smart economy” with a distributed network.”
  • Cardano is is a blockchain platform that provides a programmable blockchain and smart contracts for dApp development, it’s the first blockchain with peer reviewed tech and was describes as “New Ethereum” and “NEO killer”.

But Menlo One differ from them in one thing: they want to create a synergy between the social and technological aspects, protecting the application by a decentralized reputation that will allow the self-sustaining and self-cleaning ecosystem to grow high.

Delivery

Roadmap

The project Roadmap has been developed in great detail and for each of the four main elements of the project (TownHall, Marketplace, Guilds, Core) there is a development line, including the release of trial versions, testing and debugging. The launch of the Guilds and Marketplace is scheduled for the 2nd half of 2019. Special attention in the Roadmap is paid to the technical side of the crowdsale, as well as the business development of the product. Each of these points has its own development line on the Roadmap.


Source: https://www.menlo.one/

Team and advisory board

Project has an experienced and strong and growing team. They added 7 members to the core part of the team during last month. They now have new CTO (David Dawson) and COO (Tiaan Wolmarans). The CMO Scott Kraft has left the team.

A special attention is paid to the blockchain part: two specialists are responsible for architecture (Dave Hoover) and blockchain development (Felix Watkins), both are in blockchain for several years and have running projects. The balance in the team is clearly biased towards development, but in June they significantly strengthened the business development department.

Executive team

The CEO Mattew Nolan is a former Sr Engineer at JP Morgan and IBM, built online casinos at High5 Games and took part in several IT-startups (for example, a telecom SaaS Speek, a social discovery platform Verona). Website, Linkedin, Twitter are active<.

Project CTO David Dawson has 15 years of experience of directing engineering organizations across product & software engineers at Microsoft. Is a co-founder of Mast Mobile. He replaced Anthony Martin in this position, Anthony is now overseeing engineering processes. Linkedin profile.

The COO Tiaan Wolmarans is an entrepreneur who focuses on operations and product development and has helped several ICO to raise over $11mln and has several upcoming ICOs planned. He also worked at Hempcoin and Solaris. Linkedin profile.

Advisors

The fact that Menlo One has special advisors for engineering part, product development and blockchain architecture shows team’s rational point of view. All the advisors have strong blockchain experience.

Mike Hostetler (Engineering) is a serial entrepreneur, director of blockchain at Raise, CEO of Modern Web, CTO of SuperBetter, and Project lead at jQuery and has strong experience in project development.

Elissa Shevinsky (Product) worked as Head of Product at Brave Browser, and CTO of Glimpse.

Rick Dudley (Blockchain Architect) is a founder of VulcanizeDB, worked as a blockchain Architect at Omega One, OmiseGO, ConsenSys, his experience is concentrated in software architecture.

The rest of advisors team is also highly experienced in all the areas blockchain startup might need: Richard Titus (Business), Jill Richmond (Marketing), Markus Ament (Marketing), Marissa Kim (Legal), Elissa Shevinsky (Product), Mike Hostetler (Engineering).

Partners

At the moment, the company announced a partnership with three companies: Omega One, DAOStack, ARK and Digital Asset Trade Association (DATA). These partnerships speak for project being serious and having good perspective in the future.

Omega One’s team members are core advisors at Menlo One: Rick Dudley as a blockchain architect and Richard Titus helps with business development.

Originally Menlo One was planning to use the DAOstack governance engine building an interface for ICOs, but then they have been pivoted to a broader scope and are currently reviewing plans for cooperation with DAOstack.

ARK is a team of experts in blockchain technologies that help teams to prepare the project. Menlo One CEO is currently a partner at ARK, while ARK managing partner Marissa Kim is a legal advisor of Menlo One team.

Digital Asset Trade Association (DATA) is an advocacy group for Distributed Ledger Technology that helps Menlo One with legal part of all the preparations for ICO and post-ICO period.

Token distribution and token sale details

Total Token Offered300 mln of 1 bln
Presale DateJune 26th, 2018 (Minimum purchase amount $10k)
Public Tokensale DateJuly 16th, 2018
Pegging ParityETH/USD/MET (1:600:12000)
Lockup (Presale)Only for Bonus Tokens (90 days)
Lockup (advisors)2 month lockup, then 1 year vest
Lockup (team)2 month lockup, then 2 year vest
T1 price discount/bonus in (Private presale)50% discount
T1 price discount/bonus in (Private presale)40% discount
T2 price discount/bonus (Public Presale)30% discount
T3 price discount/bonus (Crowdsale)Sliding discount
Bounty programhttps://alpha.bounty0x.io/hosts/Menlo%20One
Unsold Tokensburned

Public presale starts on July 26th, with minimum purchase amount of $10k. Those who participate in presale will get 30% token price discount. Bounty program can be joined here. There’s also a lock-up period planned for team, advisors and bonus tokens holders. These measures will provide an incentive for the team and the advisors to work on the project, rather than dumping tokens after they go to the exchange. Well, at the same time, it partly keeps tokens from a serious price drop when the token is released to the exchange.

Hype

Website review

Menlo One web site monthly audience according to SimilarWeb is 15k users.

Menlo One has a Github account with code samples available.

Media and community

The project regularly appears in reviews of leading media such as The Merkle, VentureBeat and others, most of those articles are marked as “sponsored”.

The online image of the project shows that the marketing campaign of the project is in active stage: social media community has grown significantly in the last month: 12 812 subscribers in Telegram group chat and 10.9k followers in Twitter. Activity in Facebook (369 subscribers) and Bitcointalk announcement thread (27 messages) remains low.

The team greatly increased marketing activity, which is primarily due to the launch of public sales. A significant and loyal community has been assembled, it is obvious that the main attention is paid to the twitter and the telegraph, other channels of communication with users are considered as additional

Conclusions and editorial opinion

Risks and Potential

The project looks rather ambitious, as it promises to provide a fully functional platform for the development of decentralized applications and systems for marketplaces that support the emerging token economy. The product is supposed to make the process so simple and secure that anyone can participate. The fact that this ecosystem will contain lots of components make it fully compatible for the growth of token based business models that require both communication and transactions.

Two important components that will be launched on the basis of the platform are the TownHall and the Marketplace, that’ll help to launch ICO or invest in a package right away.

Menlo One hardcap is $15mln which is also a good sign that demonstrate that the team estimates the project realistically and does not seek sky-high sums.

The project gives the impression of standing firmly on its feet. This is also indicated by the detailed design of roadmap for each stage of project development.

Investment prospects

Menlo One project looks really promising and there’s quite a chance that it’ll be a success. The team looks professional, advisors’ group has very reliable background.

The idea is strong. The only question is who can be first to introduce the technology on the market and clearly convey to the user all the advantages of its approach. Thus, it is obvious that not only high-quality technologies and the impeccable reputation of the team will play a role here, but also a marketing strategy, as well as a community created by a project team that will become a self-regulatory system.