Symbol – HERO
Whitepaper – Link
Where – The ICO will take place on herotoken.io
When – To Be Announced
How to Participate – HERO tokens are an ERC20 asset, contributors will use ETH (Ethereum) to participate.
Soft Cap – Currently Unknown
Hard Cap – 250’000 ETH (79 Million USD at current prices)
Total Max Market Cap At ICO – 98 Million USD including company HERO allocation
Exchange Rate: 200 HERO Tokens per ETH
Total Tokens in Circulation At ICO – Total Contributed ETH * 200
(Max tokens in circulation if hard cap is reached is 50 million)
Pawn Hero is a Philippines based company focused on providing pawn services to its customer base. Pawning in the Philippines is a growing industry, mainly due to the large amount of unbanked citizens in the country and surrounding areas. These citizens, often lacking the ability to enter into loans or create savings accounts, must resort to other methods to fund their activities. A typical use-case might involve pawning a valuable for a set period of time in order to pay a bill on time and avoid overcharges, or for larger loans, enabling startups with the use of credit. Pawn Hero differentiates itself from its competitors by operating completely digitally, using mailing services to pick up items from its users and paying out loans in the form of debit cards or ATM withdrawals.
Pawn Hero is seeking to raise an ICO in order to evolve its business further, enabling larger collateralized loans, more accurate record keeping on the blockchain, and saving costs by removing the infrastructure of identity checks (which would also be kept on chain).
Most emerging markets lack centralized credit scoring.
Blockchain enables every person to have a unique and verifiable reputation-based identity that allows them to participate equally in the economy. By combining non-traditional data sources from social media profiles, previous work experience and transaction history with advanced machine learning techniques we expand our offering to provide access to unsecured loans.
Pawn Hero is currently in an emerging market in Southeast Asia – regarding pawnshops themselves, they have grown massively due to the unbanked population problem, reaching over 5 billion US Dollars in total market cap. Pawn Hero, which was started in 2015 is a rather small competitor compared to other more established franchises – still, its advantages and user experience (they have a simple mobile app and easy site to pawn items on, as 50% cheaper lending rates compared to average pawn shops) provide a possible entryway to increasing market saturation.
If Pawn Hero were to capture even 10% of the market in the future, this would mean a total valuation of 500 million US Dollars, or a 5 times return on investment of HERO tokens should the hard cap be hit during the ICO.
Pawn Hero also has an pre-existing Minimum Viable Product, which is their Pawn Hero web site – having personally gone on their site and tested the service myself, I can say that it’s very well done and has the aura of a business that will easily grow in time. The link to the web site can be found here. Finally, it’s appreciated and noticed that 80% of HERO tokens will be given out to the public during the sale, one of the largest figures we’ve seen in ICO’s.
Pawn Hero ultimately feels like you’re investing in exactly their company and nothing else. While they speak vaguely and mysteriously about their actual use of blockchain technology, there is no real meat to this story. Ultimately, all of Pawn Hero’s concept can be reduced to a money drive to further fund their company – even usage of the blockchain itself is likely not something that is necessary for this kind of project. Looking over the team behind Pawn Hero leaves something to be desired, as there is very little in the way of real blockchain developers – a definite misstep if there is to be one, when the entire purpose of this ICO is to leverage the advantage of blockchain.
Secondly, there is a large question of future potential as a project. Pawn shops are only utilized in South East Asia because of the lack of banking for individuals – once banking systems begin to accept these unbanked citizens (or, a blockchain project that actually addresses this problem), I foresee that Pawn Hero will likely lose a lot of steam and popularity unless they pivot.
Finally, Pawn Hero has several conflicting ideals and statements when it comes to their marketing and their actual solution. They tout that Hero can be used to generate credit and create “banking for the unbanked” people of the Philippines and neighboring areas, but their entire product has very little to do with banking itself and more to do with funding their current infrastructure.
Pawn Hero is a great concept, but ultimately one that I feel has no business in blockchain. It has a large hard cap at almost 100 million dollars (at the time of this writing), little in the way of an all-star developement team, and few details regarding how they will actually use the advantages of blockchain. For these reasons, I believe that this ICO must be passed up.