Symbol – GMT
Whitepaper – Link
When – October 25th 2017
How to Participate – ETH will be accepted in the sale.
Soft Cap – 80’000 ETH
Hard Cap – Unknown
Total Max Market Cap At ICO – 40 Million USD
Exchange Rate: 1 ETH = 1’000 AST
Total Tokens in Circulation At ICO – 1 Billion GMT (600 Million Circulating)
The Mercury Protocol is a decentralized messaging application, built for the Dust messenger. In an age where companies use and exploit user information to sell to the highest bidder, privacy and safety concerns are the least of a companies worries. Examples of companies that are willing to sell or otherwise give up your information to third parties include Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
Dust is a rather new mobile application with focus primarily on its privacy features, including the ability to destroy messages that are sent to others (think Snapchat’s disappearing images feature), end to end encrypted messages, and the ability to delete any messages that you sent off of other people’s phones.
With the latest revolution in blockchain technology, however, it seems that there are certain limitations when comparing apps like Dust and competitor WeChat to blockchain based messengers such as Obsidian. While the former is far more advanced in terms of market saturation, the privacy capability of blockchain is simply unmatched, and projects such as Status, Obsidian, and others will simply out muscle centralized messengers in time.
Dust aims to front-run this evolution by adopting blockchain itself – with the Mercury Protocol, they aim to create an Ethereum based private platform with the ability to create anonymous applications (again, think Obsidian). Dust will be the first of these, with plans already slated in the future to roll out more applications such as their Broadcast app (details more murky on this one as it is not currently released)
Every time you send a text message, post a photo, or send a snap, you are being tracked. Social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are taking your data, studying you, and then profiting off of you by selling your personal information to other companies that want to advertise to you.
Let’s change that.
By building a tokenized social ecosystem on the Ethereum blockchain, applications can leverage tokens to incentivize meaningful interactions while users can utilize them to gain access to premium services.
Mark Cuban is an American businessman, investor, author, television personality, and philanthropist. He is the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment and chairman of the AXS TV. He will serve as an advisor on the Mercury team.
Firstly, the token sale structure is one of the most fair I’ve seen in regards to token sales. While users are getting 60% of the total tokens in the crowdsale (with most average sales being around 50%), an extra 20% of the total tokens as specified under “User Growth Pool” will also be something that users will be able to benefit from. The company itself is taking a modest slice of the total distribution, with only 20% of the crowdsale tokens going towards the company growth itself.
It’s also looking to raise 24 million dollars, which, while being certainly higher priced than competitor Obsidian (currently priced at around 9 million dollars), is heavily discounted from larger competitors Status (80 million). Finally, the fact that the Mercury team is not allowing any kind of presale incentives or discounted tokens improves my faith in the project, as this is one of the problems that have plagued crowdsales as of late – mainly resulting in presale buyers who got heavily discounted tokens dumping them at or under ICO prices bought by the majority of crowdsale buyers.
In investing, the term of “Minimum Viable Product” generally requires investments to have the basic parts of their project ready and finished before they can be taken seriously. This is a check mark that Mercury strikes off easily, as the Mercury team is the same one behind the Dust application – an app that has received over 100’000 downloads and is gaining new users every day. Investors will be able to rest easy with an investment into Mercury, as the protocol will instantly gain a large following and community by tying it in with Dust.
I often talk about the hype factor of new ICO’s in the space and put heavy emphasis on them – this is because no matter how good the project may be, historically speaking, alts and crowdsale funded projects have fell flat on their faces without proper marketing hype and awareness around a startup. This is one of the most important things to look at if you’re a short term investor, and while it is less of a problem as a long term investor, it does mean you can likely find better entries on the exchanges should a lowly hyped project fail to garner attention and bids from new investors.
While Mercury is a great project and concept, it is one of which will have relatively low hype coming into the sale. Even with a billionaire investor like Mark Cuban on the team, it will be difficult to glean the kind of hype for Mercury that many investors are looking for when buying into projects in this space. Marketing will be necessary, and that’s where people like Mark Cuban will come in handy. If he provides Mercury and Dust with the essential marketing (and from past mentions by him of their product it seems to bne the case), they will shore up one of their biggest weaknesses.
Another negative is the amount of competition and similar projects existing in the space. Status, WeChat, Obsidian, and others are some of the projects that will be looking to challenge the Mercury Protocol and win out in the long term. The advantage that Mercury has here is their Dust application, as they will be able to leverage those users into active participants of the network, similar to how Tron is being set up with a Peiwo tie in.
Mercury’s team is top tier, and while they don’t have all of the bells and whistles of a truly all – star team, their experience with the Dust messenger and its success, combined with the star power that Mark Cuban will bring to cover up the weaknesses in the Mercury Protocol make this an interesting investment. At 24 million dollars, this is certainly not something Mark Cuban would be interested in (being a billionaire himself), so it attests to his belief that this project will be much more than it is now. The much hyped Status managing to fund as much as it did during their crowdsale, despite having no real product until 2019 and beyond shows just how much people are willing to buy into potential (as well as that ever important hype). Combine that with an already tangible product and the results may surprise and awe. Look to invest in this auspicious project and see where this new protocol takes us.