Perlin ICO Review

 · 15 mins read

Table of contents 

Introduction and metrics

Intro

Cloud computing is one of the hottest issues in the IT industry. The list of use cases is enormous, it includes big data, rendering, etc. It gives people around the world the chance to avoid deploying their own infrastructure to perform computational tasks. But at the same time, modern solutions on the market are highly centralized and expensive.

Numerous blockchain projects seek to solve this issue (and some are already successfully working), Perlin clearly stands out among them in the way it approaches the problem (novel DAG consensus mechanism) and in the level of support it already got from large investors, strategic partners and users around the globe.

Metrics

Due to the secretive nature of the project, not all information about the sale and metrics is available.

 

Private sales

Seed round: December 2017 – January 2018

Strategic sale: April – May 2018

Private sale: June – July 2018

ICO period

Planned, but dates not disclosed yet

Token

PERL

Token Type

ERC-20 on the sale stage, with transfer to native PERLs, when the project will hit mainnet

Total supply

1,000,000,000 PERL (in the old version of the whitepaper)

Soft cap

No information

Hard cap

No information

Price on the each stage

$0.04 (seed round) – 20% of the tokens issued;

$0.12 (strategic investors) – 20% of the tokens issued;

$0.20 (private sale) – 7,5% of the tokens issued;

ICO price is not set yet

Minimum Investment:

No information

Maximum investment:

No information

Bonuses

If ICO price will be $ 0,25 = 1 PERL:

6,25x ROI USD for the seed investors

2,08x ROI USD for the strategic investors

1,25x ROI USD for the investors in the Private Round

Whitelist

Yes

KYC/AML

Yes

Bounty program

No

Accepted:

ETH

Can’t participate

No information

From the metrics above it’s clear that bonuses for the early investors are too high (which is dangerous for investors, who are aiming to buy PERLs on the crowdsale). The team is pointing out that seed and strategic investors are willing to participate for the long term, but there is no reason why this statement can be trusted.

Token distribution

There is no official information about tokens allocation, however, 47,5% of the tokens are sold already.

Information about vesting looks good:

12-month vesting for tokens of seed investors,

6-month vesting for tokens of strategic investors,

3-month vesting for tokens sold on the private sale.

If the crowdsale takes place in August, and the token is listed on the first exchange in September, tokens of seed and strategic investors will still be in lockup at that moment.    

Product

Market problem

Cloud computing market is highly centralized. Because of that consumers (researchers, developers, startups, and enterprises) are suffering from excessive costs on computing resources.

Also, a large amount of these resources (smartphones, tablets, etc.) is underutilized and can be rent away when not used by the owner.

Solution offered   

Perlin is building a decentralized, privacy-preserving cloud computing network, where users can rent away their underutilized computing resources (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) to provide customers around the globe cheap and efficient compute power.

The main part of the platform is a DAG-based distributed ledger with use of Avalanche consensus (which is leaderless Byzantine fault-tolerant metastable protocol) and support of smart contracts. Tests of the network of 2,000 nodes are showing 1,300 TPS speed at <5 seconds latency.

Perlin comprises three categories of users:

  • Miners. Rent away their underutilized compute power (tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc.) to customers for the execution of a wide variety of computational tasks. Rewarded with PERLs for the services provided.
  • Customers. Create tasks on the network and pay for them in PERLs.
  • Validators. Come to consensus and log transactions made between miners and customers through a distributed ledger. They benefit from taking a commission in the form of a transaction fee from every single transaction they verify and broadcast from miners or customers.

Technology overview

Avalanche consensus mechanism has appeared in public in May 2018 and generally got a warm welcome from the crypto community, while some developers (like lead researcher at Ethereum Vlad Zamfir)  criticized it, calling it “not asynchronously safe and probabilistic”.  

In comparison with other DAG-based projects that aim to achieve millions or even billions of TPS, Perlin’s 1,300 TPS doesn't look impressive. But results of the competitors could be performed locally on a few nodes, while Perlin’s simulations were done across more than 20 cities, and the team is pointing out that this number would be enough on the release of the mainnet until dApps as a whole would become more widely adopted.

Another cloud computing project Ultrain aims to achieve 20,000 TPS and support 1 million nodes, but this number is theoretical, while claimed speed of Perlin will be granted on the release of the mainnet.   

Roadmap and MVP

There is no Roadmap. Without it, it’s hard to understand project objectives and when the team plans to achieve them.

While many recent projects are trying to provide an MVP of their solution before the token sale, from the Perlin’s side there is no beta or even alpha. From five repositories on the GitHub, only one is public. Since the moment of the upload, activity on it is high.

CryptoBriefing, who was given the access to the full codebase, reviewed the code and rated it “high”.  

Team and partners

Team

According to the official site, the team consists of 11 employees (9 confirmed):

  • 5 software developers (all of them actively working on the project in the Github, except Alex Yue, whose participation in the project is not confirmed);
  • 4 members with business development experience (but the participation of the Anup Malani is not confirmed, and Mirza Uddin is primarily experienced in investing);
  • 1 expert in finance;
  • 1 community lead expert.

Most of the members have years of experience relevant to their posts.  

Key people:

Kenta Iwasaki (Co-Founder/CTO):  He has 7 years of experience in engineering (from software development to robotics engineering). Founder/CEO at Dranithix, which specializes on automate ad content generation through machine learning, SEO, etc. Worked as Founder/CTO at Velcron Limited blockchain startup.

Dorjee Sun (Co-Founder/Project Manager): He is highly experienced in the business development (co-founded 20 companies with 2 acquisitions, 4 exits, and asset sales). Ex-COO of Santiment blockchain startup. He teaches entrepreneurship to Ph.D. students and Engineering students at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Macquarie University.

Confirmed developers: Kenta Iwasaki, Doug, Jack Li, Heyang Zhou. Unfortunately, the later three don’t have Linkedin pages, so their history of previous work can’t be tracked down. But according to the post in Perlin’s official Medium channel, they have many years of engineering experience and were previously working at Amazon, Clarifai, HP Labs, etc. But none of the them have experience in the blockchain development.

Advisors

Advisory board consists of 11 members (3 confirmed):

  • 6 Executives at VCs that invested in the project (FBG Capital, Dekrypt Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, Tapas Capital, LD Capital, 1kx).
  • 1 Executive in cryptocurrency blockchain startup;
  • 1 PR advisor;
  • 1 Partnership advisor;
  • 1 Legal advisor;
  • 1 Tech advisor.

Key people:

Vincent Zhou,  Founding Partner of FBG Capital – he has large experience in digital assets trading and investment. Vincent is also an early investor of a broad spectrum of blockchain companies and projects.

Taiyang Zhang, CEO of Republic Protocol – he has executive level experience in the first decentralized cryptocurrency dark pool Republic Protocol. Previously he was a full-stack developer and an early adopter of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Howard Wu, Co-founder of Dekrypt Capital – Executive at the Dekrypt Capital - leading investment firm for blockchain infrastructure, privacy-preserving technologies, and early-stage ventures. Howard is an early adopter of Bitcoin since 2011 and has contributed to cryptographic libraries used in Ethereum and Zcash.

Advisors confirmed on the Linkedin: Taiyang Zhang, Addison Huegel (PR advisor), Maarten Verweij (VC). Partnership with advisers from VCs can be formal.

Partners  

Claimed partnerships are what gained a lot of attention to the project. According to the project’s site, the team has signed partnerships with the following large investors and strategic partners: GBIC, FBG Capital, Gobi Partners, Global Brain, Bitmain, Zhen Fund, Virgil Capital, Dekrypt, Beyond Blocks, Signum Capital, Chain Rock, Arrington XRP, Node Capital, DHVC, Matrix CIB, East Hash, BlockTower, etc. That makes nearly 200+ partners and token purchasers.

Source: Perlin.net, July 2018

Many of them confirmed: GBIC, Coinstelegram, Signum.Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, etc.

Such attention from well-known companies brings a lot of confidence about the project to small investors and users around the globe.

Market and competitors

Overview

According to the prediction from the Forrester, more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation and delight customers.

A research from Forbes is disclosing that the total global public cloud market cap will be $ 178 billion in 2018, up from $ 146 billion in 2017, and will continue to grow at a 22% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft will capture 76% of all cloud platform revenue in 2018, expanding to 80% by 2020.

There are some blockchain projects that are already working or aim to work on the niche of the cloud computing:

  • Golem. Project in the beta stage on the Ethereum network. Specializes on rendering (for games, films, tv, etc.) and machine learning. Computational power can be rent with use of GNT cryptocurrency. Market cap - $ 301 million, ROI USD since the first day on the exchange – 20.9x.
  • SONM. Project in the mainnet. Specializes on rendering (for games, films, tv, etc.) and machine learning. Apart from specific software, to solve computational tasks can be used Claymore miner (each task id will represent rent of the computational resources). Computational power can be rent with use of SNM coin. Market cap - $ 41,9M, ROI USD since ICO – 0,74x.
  • Other mentionable projects: Dfinity, iExec RLC, Hypernet, DeepCloud, Blockcloud, Elastic, Ultrain.

 

Project advantages

  • Strong team/advisory board and very wholehearted support from large investors, strategic partners, and users around the globe;
  • Avalanche – a novel type of the consensus mechanism, which got a warm welcome from the crypto community;
  • Granted 1,300 TPS on the release of the mainnet with <5s latency and support of hundreds of thousands of nodes;
  • Code reviewed by CyptoBriefing and rated “high”;
  • Use of underutilized resources (smartphones, tablets, etc.) to provide decentralized, cheap, and efficient computing power;
  • Good tokenomics.

Hype analysis

The project was for a long time in a “stealth-mode”. Despite this, the project has alredy gathered a lot of attention mainly because of the attention got from already mentioned large partners and influencers like ICO Pantera, CryptoBriefing, ICO Drops, PicoloResearch, and Coin Bloq, who privately got the access to the early whitepaper draft.

According to the SimilarWeb, the monthly audience of the Perlin’s site achieved 30k users (90k in total).  

Source: Similarweb.com, July 2018

A large part of the traffic came from the sites of VCs and most of the users went from the Perlin site to the project’s Telegram channel. Despite the fact that it’s only an announcement channel and since March there were made only seven posts (active posting from the end of June), the number of followers of the channel achieved 30k and not decreasing.

Source: Similarweb.com, July 2018

On other media platforms, activity is low-to-medium (but looks natural). The online image of the project shows that its marketing campaign is in active stage since 22 June 2018, and in one month the project has accumulated:

  • 3k followers on Twitter;
  • 786 followers on Medium;
  • 527 followers on Facebook;
  • 140 followers on Reddit;
  • 1,1k followers on Discord (accumulated since the end of the “stealth-mode”, which is 17 July).

Conclusion

Perlin Network is a well-developed blockchain project, with a strong team and high valued partnerships, though metrics looks disturbing. Bonuses are too high, and participation in the public sale for the belated investors can be dangerous. Approach to buy tokens when they will be listed on the exchange could be safer.

ICObazaar experts have given Perlin AA rating.