Symbol – DVIP
Whitepaper – Link
When – Ongoing
Soft Cap – None
Hard Cap – 4.8 Million USD
Total Max Market Cap At ICO – 6 Million USD
Exchange Rate: 1 ETH = 0.259 DVIP + 12’953 AURA
Total Tokens in Circulation At ICO – 2’000 DVIP + 100 Million AURA
Aurora is a combination of several different projects melded into one – with their Boreal token, Aurora aims to create a stablecoin that will be pegged to fiat currency (similar to Tether) collateralized by Ethereum assets. With the AURA token, the team aims to create a decentralized exchange based on a peer to peer client; finally, with the DVIP token, Aurora looks to incentivize holders and users of their platform with lower rates and market making rewards.
Decentralized Capital is a bank run on the Ethereum network that will market make and grant loans to users with their stablecoin, Boreal. In order to fulfill the vast processing needs of the app as well as maintaining the decentralized advantage of their offering, Decentralized Capital will be run on a distributed computing ledger. Examples of this include Golem, IEX, Elastic, and others. Decentralized Capital will have several controls with which to market make on the IDEX (thereby affecting supply and demand) as well as functions to meet their primary objective, which will be market making Boreals and making sure that the peg remains tied to its original value. This kind of concept has been seen before, and examples include BitUSD, Paycoin, and others.
Finally, the Aurora team will be implementing a protocol known as Snowglobe – Snowglobe allows for all exchanges on the network to share liquidity in one orderbook while maintaining their high-performance characteristics. With exchanges as they are presently, it splits up liquidity of any individual coin and reduces overall efficiency of the system. With Snowglobe, Aurora hopes to bind these exchanges together to create a more expansive and inclusive ecosystem with other exchanges.
Aurora provides an advanced, open, and stable financial network, accessible by anyone in the world regardless of geographic location or class status. Aurora’s own stable currency, the boreal, is backed by a combination of cryptocurrency reserves, debt, and retailer endorsement, and is available to customers via loans based on their digital economic reputation.
Alex is an expert at leading teams in the design and delivery of software products. He has managed a wide range of operations, marketing, and sales analytics products for Amazon, Adobe, and IBM, and most recently led a product management team in re-platforming their application to operate on a private Ethereum blockchain (project still in stealth mode). Alex is a graduate of the Kellogg MMM program, a dual MBA in Finance and Operations and MS in Design and Innovation.
Phil is a Co-founder of EtherEx and has been building blockchain based companies since the time when Ethereum was little more than a white paper. While developing EtherEx he identified the pressing need for a high performance decentralized exchange protocol, an insight which served as the basis for IDEX. Phil has a background in aerospace engineering
Brian is a full stack developer with over 10 years experience in startups. In addition to engineering, Brian has worked for many years in the fields of blockchain technology, product management, marketing, and design. Brian uses his passion for fintech and blockchain technology to build the best user experiences possible.
Aurora is unique simply due to the scope of their project – while I’ve done many ICO reviews in the past, Aurora strikes me as one of the most complex and forward-minded of the bunch. Aurora reminds me of the ARK project, in the sense that they are giving themselves a lot on their plate to manage and deliver. While some may look at this (wisely so!) as a drawback, if the team manages to actually follow through on some of these promises, there should be a great incentive to buy and hold these tokens.
The team has a working MVP already in the form of their IDEX exchange, and it’s proudly displayed on their site for all to see – the link can be found here. While their liquidity is very low, it does serve as a good example and proof of concept on what the Aurora team can deliver with their product. Those looking for more expansive MVP’s will be well served here.
Finally, the token sale terms are extremely fair and enticing – they’re raising just shy of 5 million dollars as their hard cap, and giving out a large percentage of the total holdings from the TGE to investors. This is one of the more conservative caps I’ve seen in an ICO, and with the kind of potential that Aurora looks to have, makes the DVIP/AURA tokens look very desirable.
While the overall combination of Aurora’s offerings is interesting, these are all services that we’ve seen before. Decentralized exchanges have had several recent ICO’s which automatically puts a downer on any service following those as they will have to catch up to the previous team’s progress. Combining blockchains with the Snowglobe protocol is nice in theory, though in practice I feel exchanges would either not care about it (as there is no direct gain for them) or choose not to bother with the resources and dev time it would take to move their entire infrastructure on chain. I’m very pessimistic about Snowglobe getting any real traction.
Another thing that I don’t like is their concept of a stablecoin – other writers, such as Preston Byrne, have done a much better job at deconstructing why this technology simply doesn’t work and can be read here. Simply put, the stability and price of the Boreal token will be dependent on new investors/traders putting their money into the token. If there is no demand, then even an supply of a single Boreal is absolutely worthless. The only way to create the demand is by having people use the Aurora services, which rely on Boreals – an infinite loop that cannot run without new money being invested from outside of said loop. While Aurora states these Boreals will initially be backed by Ethereum, they also have plans to move away from that and implement a fractional reserve system, where they run the risk of insolvency issues.
Finally, Aurora makes claims in their whitepaper about how they will use technology to digitally create credit scores for new debtors, laughably stating that they will even use things like a users video game win history:
The bank will assess credit worthiness through all available data. Identity services such as uPort and RepSys will serve as a proxy of a borrower’s trustworthiness. Previous loan history, KYC attestations, etc. will allow the bank to build an accurate profile of the user. Other less typical credit indicators, such as professional skills and work experience, can also be used, provided this information is tied to the individual’s on-chain identity. For example, Firstblood players taking a loan for competitive wagers could be assessed based on their League of Legends win history. Many different criteria will inform creditworthiness, and there is no one size fits all.
Aurora is a complicated project, with an even more complicated whitepaper – it took me several attempts in order to fully understand exactly what it is they’re trying to build, but it feels to me like many of these things simply wouldn’t work or ever have demand. The lack of price stability of their Boreal coin would destroy their entire project, and I am given the impression of a young team that is looking to bite off far more than they can chew. Other reservations, such as their planned fractional reserve banking aside, there are simply too many factors and things that could go wrong with this project for me to give it a great grade. Aurora is a pass.
Investment Grade: 65%
Have an ICO you want reviewed? Click here.